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Becoming a RIPE LIR in 2020

This blog post was updated in December 2019 to reflect that RIPE has now run-out of IPs and currently operates a waiting list for a single /24 instead of previous allocation size of /22.

What is an IP Address Run Out

IP Exhaustion or IP Address Run Out is a term that is used to describe the depletion of unallocated IPv4 addresses. The unallocated IPv4 address space refers to IP addresses that haven’t been allocated to anyone and could be requested by organisations such as your business.

Benefits of becoming an LIR

RIPE membership comes with the following benefits:

  • A final allocation of a /24 (256 IP addresses) of IPv4 address space
  • Allocation of up to a /29 of IPv6 address space
  • Ability to self sponsor your ASN and PI address space (and save on current sponsoring LIR fees)
  • Ability to attend RIPE NCC Training Courses
  • Ability to attend the RIPE NCC General Meetings and vote candidates to the RIPE NCC Executive Board
  • Two tickets to RIPE meeting event (€350 value each) 

RIPE Fees

As of 2019 RIPE charges a one-time Sign-Up Fee of €2,000 (excluding VAT), and the Annual Membership Fee of €1,400 (excluding VAT). The VAT at the Dutch rate of 21% is charged where applicable.

The Annual Membership Fee covers a period from January to December. Therefore in your first year of membership, you can expect the Annual Membership Fee to be pro-rated based on the quarter in which your LIR account was opened. As an example, for an LIR account opened in July, the first year’s Annual Membership Fee would be €700 (excluding VAT) for the months from July to December.

In subsequent years Annual Membership Fee will be invoiced in February will cover a whole year, and cost €1,400 (excluding VAT).

There was previously an option available to split the Annual Membership Fee into four quarterly instalments of €350 (excluding VAT), but as of 2019, this option is no longer available.

IP Allocation

With IPv4 address exhaustion around the corner, we understand that your primary motivation on becoming an LIR is the final allocation of a /24 (256 IP addresses) of IPv4 address space.

On 25th November 2019 RIPE has run out of IPv4 addresses, and implemented the following changes:

  • The allocation size was reduced from a /22 to a /24 (so reduction from 1024 to 256 IP addresses)
  • RIPE continues to recover small amounts of IPV4 addresses for foreseeable future
  • A waiting list for IPv4 allocation was created, and allocations of recovered IPv4 addresses will be made on a first-come, first-served basis.

So what this means is that new LIRs requesting a /24 IPv4 allocation will put on the waiting list, and the IPs will be allocated as they are reclaimed by RIPE from networks that return their resources. At the time of updating this blog post (20th December 2019), there are 82 LIRs on the waiting list, so there might be quite a wait.

IP Address Lease

An alternative worth considering would be leasing the IP addresses from a provider such as LIR SERVICES

Let’s take a look at both of these options and how they perform cost-wise.

First YearNext Years
LIR Membership€3,400€1,400
LIR SERVICES IP Address Lease€1,450€1,200
Savings on IP Lease€1950€200

Becoming an LIR for a single allocation of /24 would currently cost you €3,400 (excluding VAT) in the first year, and then €1,400 every year after that. The first year fee includes the LIR Account Setup and the Annual Membership Fee. That comes to €283 per month in the first year and €116 in the following years.

In comparison, our IP Lease Services has a setup fee of €250 and the lease starts at €100 a month for a /24 IP block, which totals €1,450 in the first year and €1,200 in the following years.

So our IP Address Lease service offers an upfront saving of €1,950 in the first year and €200 in each year after as compared to current RIPE LIR fees.

It is also worth noting that our service will be a lot quicker too, as you won’t need to go through the lengthy LIR application procedure and wait on the waiting list for the IP allocation. Instead, you will be able to start announcing the IP block almost right away because the setup of an IP lease typically takes three business days on average.

Buying IPv4 Addresses

If you would rather buy IPv4 addresses, as opposed to leasing them, this is something that we can also assist with. We are a registered RIPE IPv4 Transfer Broker, and so we have all of the experience needed to put your mind at ease. Navigating the secondary market without expertise is not recommended. This is because there are a lot of scams out there and there are people who are selling IP addresses that have been blacklisted. This could be a disaster for your business.

A few things to consider are that taking this route may still require your organisation to sign-up for an LIR membership if you purchase PA (Provider Aggregate) addresses rather than PI (Provider Independent) addresses. The latter option only requires an LIR sponsor, such as ourselves.

Additionally, pricing isn’t as straight forward as with IP Address Lease, as there are additional costs of Due Diligence and Escrow to consider. Please do get in touch with us for more details.

Summary

Considering all the above-discussed options, before the RIPE IPv4 Address Run-out we strongly recommended becoming an LIR solely for the large IPv4 /22 allocation. Nevertheless, now with the new /24 policy in place, our recommendation has changed. 

As illustrated in this blog post, if your business is after a relatively small number of IPs (such as /24) we recommend our ASN Registration and IP Address Lease services that are more cost-effective than becoming an LIR in 2020.

If your organisation, however, is after a larger IP block, it might be worth considering purchasing the IP addresses on the aftermarket. We can certainly help with this.

Still, if your organisation sees the benefits of becoming an LIR, please consider our LIR Setup and fully Managed LIR services.

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