How do we know which addresses are still unallocated or unassigned? Find below a proposal to include unallocated address space in the statistics files the Regional Internet Registries publish daily.
Each of the Regional Internet Registries (RIRs) publishes all addresses allocated or assigned on a daily basis based on a format agreed by all RIRs. These files are available as "stats files" (sometimes also called "delegated" files) on the RIR's ftp sites. Each published file lists a number of records that represent the cumulative assignments/allocations made until the publication date. The RIRs have been publishing these files going back as far as 2003. Example IPv4 records look like:
Currently, these records do not list any resources that have not yet been allocated or assigned. For a number of reasons, it would be useful for the RIRs and also for the community if these records would also include "free" resources.
The RIRs have agreed to extend these files with additional entries, listing the resources which are in the custody of the RIR but not yet allocated or assigned to any organisation. The union of all records in any given stats file therefore will be representative for all the address space managed by the issuing RIR at the date of publication. The union of all stats files issued on the same date will be representative for all the address space collectively managed by the RIRs. Implementing this proposal would require minor changes to syntax and semantics for these new records.
The RIPE NCC has now started to publish records on a daily basis listing the unallocated addresses.
The unallocated or unassigned records will be listed like this:
The extended version of the stats files is now online. Please note that this is a prototype and the format and location may move in the future based on feedback received.
Especially now with IPv4 address space running out, it is important to have a clear record of all address space in the RIR system, including the unallocated space. This change would also show the entire address space each RIR is responsible for. It would also allow to identify possible overlaps as well as gaps between addresses managed by different RIRs.