AS Numbers unused/sitting for long periods of time

Steve Noble snoble at
Tue Jan 2 23:11:57 UTC 2018

Inaccurate whois data from ARIN is not a good way to tell anything as 
ARIN is terrible to deal with when you need to update an address or 
phone number or anything.  I know personally as I had to fight for years 
to update the data on an ASN that ARIN was billing me to manage the data 

> Chris Adams <mailto:cma at>
> January 2, 2018 at 2:56 PM
> I know of two (from a former job) that pre-date ARIN that haven't been
> used since 1999 because those two companies no longer exist (nor AFAIK
> does any successor company). The whois information is bogus at this
> point, but I couldn't prove that.
> I expect that AS numbers allocated by ARIN and other current RIRs are
> not abandoned like that (since they charge annual fees, and I assume
> they reclaim for non-payment), so the number of abandoned AS numbers is
> probably not growing significantly (and would not grow beyond the
> pre-RIR pool).
> With 32 bit AS numbers though, what's the point of making an effort to
> reclaim the old AS numbers? BGP4 has been shown to handle alternate
> length AS numbers, so if somehow 4 billion are allocated, it probably
> won't be a big deal to extend BGP again.
> James Breeden <mailto:James at>
> January 2, 2018 at 2:46 PM
> Before I take this to the ARIN PPML, wanted to get NANOG's thoughts.
> I'm amazed at the number of AS numbers that are assigned, but not 
> actively being used. I'm not talking just like they are offline for a 
> week or month, this is complete non-use of the AS in the global 
> routing table within *years*. They are completely abandoned resources 
> - Whois data is inaccurate by 5-10 years, no routeviews data in the 
> same time period, the owning organization (if you can find it) 
> scratches their heads about responding whether they use it or not, etc.
> I know we're currently not in a push to get AS numbers or close to 
> exhaustion, but I do believe that people who have global AS numbers 
> should have a requirement to use them or return them to the global 
> pool. Am I the only one thinking this?
> And before you come back with "Well they may be using it internally 
> where it doesn't need to be in the GRT" - that's why we have Private 
> AS numbers.
> I.e. some form of ARIN or global policy that basically says "If AS 
> number not routed or whois updated or used in 24 months, said AS 
> number can be public noticed via mailing list and website and then 
> revoked and reissued to a pending, approved AS request"
> Just thinking aloud. Happy New Year all!
> James W. Breeden
> Managing Partner
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> Arenal Group: Arenal Consulting Group | Acilis Telecom | Pines Media
> PO Box 1063 | Smithville, TX 78957
> Email: james at<mailto:james at> | office 
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