Arne Kießling

IPv6 Support for Governments Programme

Arne Kießling

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We have developed a new programme to help governments with their IPv6 allocation requests. This article explains the kind of support on offer and why we think it’s needed.



With IPv6 deployment becoming a priority across a range of different sectors, we are seeing an increase in the number of IPv6 allocation requests made by governments. These requests typically involve a great deal of preparation. First, the requesting government’s addressing plans will often need to go through a process of internal evaluation before they are submitted to the RIPE NCC. Then, because the amount of space requested tends to be larger than the standard /29 for initial IPv6 allocations, we need to carry out a detailed evaluation of the plans before we can approve the request.
If a government is unable to justify the requested amount of address space, we explain the (smaller) size of allocation they are eligible to receive based on the documentation they have provided. If this amount is not enough for their plans, they need to update their request and document the requirements for a larger IPv6 allocation. This can be extremely difficult for governments – especially given the amount of time and effort that has already been invested in the process leading up to their request.
There are a number of reasons why a government’s IPv6 request might not be successful initially:

  • The addressing plan is based on previous experience with IPv4 networking
  • The requesting government is unfamiliar with RIPE Policies and unclear about the level of detail needed in the supporting documentation
  • Misconceptions about the compatibility of IPv4 and IPv6

We Can Help

Given that these requests are often more complex than a typical ISP request, we’ve decided to offer governments help with their preparation. This support is available through our new IPv6 Support for Governments Programme, where we explain the different aspects of IPv6 planning and provide clarification on RIPE Policies.

The goal of the programme is to help governments accurately calculate the amount of IPv6 address space they need (and can justify) before they submit an allocation request. We also want to outline exactly what information we need to evaluate a request. This can include:

  • The number of End Sites
  • The hierarchical and logical structuring of the network
  • Special addressing requirements (e.g. additional levels of hierarchy or security requirements)
  • Documentation of address space needs to justify the requested allocation size 

Of course, as members, governments have access to our full range of training courses and materials – including those relating to IPv6. However, these resources are generally geared towards traditional ISP-like entities and do not cover planning and documentation aspects that are unique to a government’s situation.

Ensuring governments are informed about the policy requirements will help them to prepare a request that they can justify. This will result in a more efficient planning process for them, and supplying correct documentation from the outset means we can complete our evaluation faster as well. This will cut down on unnecessary delays and smooth out the entire process.

How it Works

The RIPE NCC will contact government bodies when they become RIPE NCC members to offer them assistance through the programme. We will also proactively contact governments that we know to be considering IPv6 deployments.

The programme will be lightweight and tailored to the needs of participating governments. It will be structured around a meeting on their premises to go over their plans and offer advice. We will be in contact ahead of the meeting to get a sense of what they are hoping to achieve with their request.

Get in Touch

If you represent a government that is planning to make an IPv6 allocation request, please get in touch with us by emailing <>.

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About the author

Arne Kießling Based in Amsterdam, The Netherlands

I am an IP Resource Analyst and part-time trainer at the RIPE NCC. I have worked in and for the Internet community for over 10 years, mainly in the support, registration and training area.

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