FAQ

IPv6 provides enough addresses to allow the Internet to continue to expand and the industry to innovate. It is not, however, directly compatible with IPv4, meaning that a device connected via IPv4 cannot communicate directly with a device connected using IPv6.

1. What is IPv6?
2. Do I need to be a member of the RIPE NCC to receive an IPv6 allocation?
3. How can I get an IPv6 allocation from RIPE NCC?
4. How much do IPv6 addresses cost?
5. Are the fees for an IPv6 allocation different to those for IPv4?
6. Does “slash notation” differ between IPv6 and IPv4?
7. What is a subnet?
8. Are IPv6 address assignment policies different from the IPv4 ones?
9. Can an Internet Exchange Point (IXP) get an IPv6 assignment?
10. Is it possible to get an IPv6 Provider Independent (PI) assignment?
11. Is it possible to get an IPv6 multicast space allocation?
12. Do I need to register all the assignments made from my IPv6 allocation?
13. How do I document assignments made from my IPv6 allocation?
14. How do I determine which values to use for the “status” attribute when registering assignments from my IPv6 allocation?

1. What is IPv6?
Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6) was designed by the Internet Engineering Task Force (the IETF) to expand the amount of IP addresses available. IPv6 addresses are 128-bit addresses, expressed in hexadecimal notation (for example, 2001:DB8:8::260:97ff:fe40:efab).

There are 2128 IPv6 addresses, or roughly 340 trillion, trillion, trillion. This huge amount of addresses is expected to accommodate the predicted expansion of the Internet and Internet-related services over the coming years.

IPv6 was introduced in 1999 and has been in use since then. This means that the core standards are stable and have been well tested in research and operational contexts.

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2. Do I need to be a member of the RIPE NCC to receive an IPv6 allocation?
Yes. IP address space is only allocated to RIPE NCC members. However, smaller Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and End Sites can obtain an IPv6 address space assignment or sub-allocation from an upstream provider. See the RIPE Document “IPv6 Address Allocation and Assignment Policy” for more information about IPv6 allocations and assignments.

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3. How can I get an IPv6 allocation from RIPE NCC?
To get an IPv6 allocation from the RIPE NCC, you must be a Local Internet Registry (LIR)/RIPE NCC member. If you are already an LIR/RIPE NCC member, you can request an IPv6 allocation by completing the IPv6 First Allocation Request Form. To receive an IPv6 allocation, you will need to have a plan to make sub-allocations to other organisations and/or make End Site assignments within two years.

See the RIPE Document “IPv6 Address Allocation and Assignment Policy” for more information about receiving an IPv6 allocation.

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4. How much do IPv6 addresses cost?
All IP addresses are regarded as a public resource and cannot be bought or sold. The RIPE NCC charges its members annual service fees for the administrative work involved in allocating address space.

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5. Are the fees for an IPv6 allocation different to those for IPv4?
No. From 2013, all RIPE NCC members are charged the same annual fee, regardless of the services they use or the IP address allocations they receive. The membership fees are outlined in the RIPE NCC Charging Scheme 2013.

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6. Does “slash notation” differ between IPv6 and IPv4?
Yes. Slash notation for IPv4 and IPv6 is based on the same principle but the amount of addresses that each slash represents differs between the two protocols. It is difficult to make direct comparisons between IPv4 and IPv6 because of the very large numbers involved in IPv6 addressing. However, the example below gives a simple overview:

In IPv4 addressing, a /32 is equivalent to one single IP address.

In IPv6 addressing, a /32 results in 65,536 subnets, each of which is the size of a /48. Each /48 contains 65,536 /64s and each /64 contains 264 addresses. This means that each IPv6 /32 allocation contains 4.29 billion /64s (4.29 billion x (264 ) IPv6 addresses, which results in a number too large to be meaningful in print).
A /64 subnet is the smallest IPv6 assignment that an End User can receive according to the current IPv6 assignment policy. So, an End User assigned the smallest IPv6 assignment will receive 264 IPv6 addresses.

An End User assigned the smallest IPv4 assignment will receive one single IPv4 address.

CIDR Chart IPv4

Read also Understanding IP Addressing.

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7. What is a subnet?
A sub network (subnet) is a part of an organisation’s network. A subnet may represent all the machines at one geographic location, in one building, or on the same local area network (LAN). Dividing a network into subnets allows the network to be connected to the Internet with a single shared network address. Without subnets, a network might use multiple connections to the Internet, one for each physically separate sub network. When referring to IPv6 addressing schemes, subnets are used to describe the amount of addresses contained within IPv6 slash notation.

8. Are IPv6 address assignment policies different from the IPv4 ones?
Yes. Technical differences between IPv4 and IPv6 mean that there are different policies for IPv4 and IPv6 address space management and assignment. However, all policies are based on the same principles and the processes used to assign IPv4 and IPv6 are the same.

For IPv6 addressing policies, see the RIPE Document “IPv6 Address Allocation and Assignment Policy
For IPv4 addressing policies, see the RIPE Document “IPv4 Address Allocation and Assignment Policies for the RIPE NCC Service Region

All RIPE policies are proposed, discussed and approved by the RIPE community using the RIPE Policy Development Process (PDP).

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9. Is it possible to get an IPv6 Provider Independent (PI) assignment?
Yes. Please see Section 8 of the the RIPE Document “IPv6 Address Allocation and Assignment Policy” for more details about IPv6 Provider Independent (PI) Assignments.

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10. Can an Internet Exchange Point (IXP) get an IPv6 assignment?
Yes. However, there are separate procedures and policies for IPv6 assignments to IXPs. Please see the RIPE Document “IPv6 Address Space Policy for Internet Exchange Points” for more information.

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11. Is it possible to get an IPv6 multicast space allocation?
No. Currently, the RIPE NCC only allocates IPv6 unicast space. Please see the RIPE Document “IPv6 Address Allocation and Assignment Policy” for more information.

12. Do I need to register all the assignments made from my IPv6 allocation?
Yes. When an organisation holding an IPv6 address allocation makes IPv6 address assignments, it must register these assignments in the appropriate RIR database. For more information on this, please see the RIPE Document IPv6 Address Allocation and Assignment Policy.

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13. How do I document assignments made from my IPv6 allocation?
For information on how to document assignments made from your IPv6 allocation, including the relevant rules, constraints and options, please see the RIPE document Documenting IPv6 Assignments in the RIPE Database.

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14. How do I determine which values to use for the “status” attribute when registering assignments from my IPv6 allocation?
There are three different values that can be used for the “status:” attribute for objects registered from an INET6NUM object with the “status: ALLOCATED-BY-RIR”:

ALLOCATED-BY-LIR: For allocations made by an LIR or an LIR’s downstream customer to another downstream organisation. Assignments made from this block need to be registered with the status “AGGREGATED-BY-LIR” or “ASSIGNED” as applicable.
ASSIGNED: For assignments made to an End User site and registered separately by the LIR in the RIPE Database.

AGGREGATED-BY-LIR : For more information on how to use this “status:” attribute and the “assignment-size:” attribute (which is mandatory when using “status: AGGREGATED-BY-LIR”), please see the RIPE document Value of the “status:” attribute and the “assignment-size:” of the inet6num objects for sub-assigned PA space.