IAB/IESG Recommendations on IPv6 Address Allocations to Sites
RFC 3177

Document Type RFC - Informational (September 2001; No errata)
Obsoleted by RFC 6177
Author IAB 
Last updated 2013-03-02
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Network Working Group                                                IAB
Request for Comments: 3177                                          IESG
Category: Informational                                   September 2001

     IAB/IESG Recommendations on IPv6 Address Allocations to Sites

Status of this Memo

   This memo provides information for the Internet community.  It does
   not specify an Internet standard of any kind.  Distribution of this
   memo is unlimited.

Copyright Notice

   Copyright (C) The Internet Society (2001).  All Rights Reserved.


   This document provides recommendations to the addressing registries
   (APNIC, ARIN and RIPE-NCC) on policies for assigning IPv6 address
   blocks to end sites.  In particular, it recommends the assignment of
   /48 in the general case, /64 when it is known that one and only one
   subnet is needed and /128 when it is absolutely known that one and
   only one device is connecting.

   The original recommendations were made in an IAB/IESG statement
   mailed to the registries on September 1, 2000.  This document refines
   the original recommendation and documents it for the historical

1. Introduction

   There have been many discussions between IETF and RIR experts on the
   topic of IPv6 address allocation policy.  This memo addresses the
   issue of the boundary in between the public and the private topology
   in the Internet, that is, how much address space should an ISP
   allocate to homes, small and large enterprises, mobile networks and
   transient customers.

   This document does not address the issue of the other boundaries in
   the public topology, that is, between the RIRs and the LIRs.

   This document was developed by the IPv6 Directorate, IAB and IESG,
   and is a recommendation from the IAB and IESG to the RIRs.

IAB & IESG                   Informational                      [Page 1]
RFC 3177       IAB/IESG Recommendations on IPv6 Addresses September 2001

2. Background

   The technical principles that apply to address allocation seek to
   balance healthy conservation practices and wisdom with a certain ease
   of access.  On one hand, when managing a potentially limited
   resource, one must conserve wisely to prevent exhaustion within an
   expected lifetime.  On the other hand, the IPv6 address space is in
   no sense as limited a resource as the IPv4 address space, and
   unwarranted conservatism acts as a disincentive in a marketplace
   already dampened by other factors.  So from a market development
   perspective, we would like to see it be very easy for a user or an
   ISP to obtain as many IPv6 addresses as they really need without a
   prospect of immediate renumbering or of scaling inefficiencies.

   The IETF makes no comment on business issues or relationships.
   However, in general, we observe that technical delegation policy can
   have strong business impacts.  A strong requirement of the address
   delegation plan is that it not be predicated on or unduly bias
   business relationships or models.

   The IPv6 address, as currently defined, consists of 64 bits of
   "network number" and 64 bits of "host number".  The technical reasons
   for this are several.  The requirements for IPv6 agreed to in 1993
   included a plan to be able to address approximately 2^40 networks and
   2^50 hosts; the 64/64 split effectively accomplishes this.
   Procedures used in host address assignment, such as the router
   advertisement of a network's prefix to hosts [RFC2462], which in turn
   place a locally unique number in the host portion, depend on this
   split.  Subnet numbers must be assumed to come from the network part.
   This is not to preclude routing protocols such as IS-IS level 1
   (intra-area) routing, which routes individual host addresses, but
   says that it may not be depended upon in the world outside that zone.
   The 64-bit host field can also be used with EUI-64 for a flat,
   uniquely allocated space, and therefore it may not be globally
   treated as a subnetting resource.  Those concerned with privacy
   issues linked to the presence of a globally unique identifier may
   note that 64 bits makes a large enough field to maintain excellent
   random-number-draw properties for self-configured End System
   Designators.  That alternative construction of this 64-bit host part
   of an IPv6 address is documented in [RFC3041].

   While the IETF has also gone to a great deal of effort to minimize
   the impacts of network renumbering, renumbering of IPv6 networks is
   neither invisible nor completely painless.  Therefore, renumbering
   should be considered a tolerable event, but to be avoided if
   reasonably feasible.

IAB & IESG                   Informational                      [Page 2]
RFC 3177       IAB/IESG Recommendations on IPv6 Addresses September 2001

   In [RFC2374] and [RFC2450], the IETF's IPNG working group has
   recommended that the address block given to a single edge network
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