The RIPE NCC's membership grew steadily over the course of 2012. In Q3, the RIPE NCC received 417 requests to become a Local Internet Registry (LIR); the highest number we have seen so far. This surge in membership growth exceeds the previous record set 12 years ago during the dotcom bubble in 2000.
One reason for the surge is probably the anticipation of the last /8 of IPv4 addresses. The RIPE NCC reached the last /8 of IPv4 address on 14 September 2012 (see RIPE NCC is Reaching the Last /8 of IPv4).1
We also looked at the IPv6 RIPEness of these new LIRs and Direct Assignment Users (DAUs) and found that the group of LIRs that joined the RIPE NCC in Q4 2012 has the highest score of 1-star IPv6 RIPEness. This means that they received an IPv6 allocation from the RIPE NCC. The yellow bar in Figure 2 indicates the number of LIRs that started in this particular quarter and that have an IPv6 allocation.
You can see that the numbers for Q3 2012 look very different from the previous months. New LIRs usually lag a bit behind in getting an IPv6 allocation as we described in IPv6 RIPEness – Sorted by LIR's Age and Size. This recent increase could be caused by the requirements for IPv4 address space allocated from the last /8 which the RIPE NCC started allocating from in September: an LIR can only request IPv4 address space if they can justify the need for it and if they already have an IPv6 allocation. This requirement was set by the RIPE community in order to promote the deployment of IPv6.
It will be interesting to see if these LIRs will also reach the other IPv6 RIPEness stars. Will these LIRs also be fast in announcing and using their IPv6 allocation?
For more information and more graphs, please see the background article on RIPE Labs: Number of New LIRs and their IPv6 RIPEness.
1 Note that this graph also shows the number of Direct Assignment Users (DAUs) in light green, because they are also included in the IPv6 RIPEness measurements below.