UBC’s IP Address Plans


The dwindling availability of IPv4 address space is a global phenomenon to which UBC is also afflicted. By 2013, what remained of the two /16 networks and several smaller networks assigned to UBC by ARIN and BC Net over the years were 3 Class C networks and various segmented networks equivalent to 3-4 class C networks. Conservation and recovery efforts had begun well before this time and while gains were made, they could not match the projected growth anticipated on campus.

Over the next four years, new student residences and new department buildings were in the plans. A new data centre had been recently erected with cloud-based services being extended to other educational institutions. Many new initiatives supporting teaching, learning and administrative functions introduce new devices that require IP addressing. The wireless client base was steadily increasing 10-15% annually. While private IPv4 addresses were used wherever possible, additional public addresses were necessary to support these activities, so an application was made and granted.

Meanwhile, efforts to conserve IPv4 address space are ongoing.

As of September 2015, all available IPv4 space in North America has been assigned. Read more about it here.


Migrating hosts to IPv6 is dependent on the underlying infrastructure providing support for IPv6. Nowadays, devices typically come with IPv6 support out of the box and have dual-stack support for IPv4 and IPv6 communications.

As a pilot, IPv6 routing was enabled on campus in 2010 to support the Computer Science Department's Debian IPv6 Project and it was a successful effort. UBC also participated in World IPv6 Day the following year. Also read our director's last blog post on IPv6. While UBC IT plans to migrate to IPv6, the current IPv4 situation is manageable affording some time to focus on other areas of infrastructure also requiring urgent attention. Migration plans will be shared with the community as it becomes available and will require significant planning, coordination and configuration changes.

Meanwhile, while various parts of UBC's infrastructure are dual-stack capable, IPv6 has not been fully enabled throughout the campus. Clients attempting to use IPv6 will experience connectivity issues, therefore, network adapters should be configured to use IPv4 for communications.