Less Than 5% of IPv4 Address Space Remaining

(Ping! Zine) – The Number Resource Organization (NRO) announced today that less than five percent of the world’s IPv4 addresses remain unallocated. APNIC, the Regional Internet Registry for the Asia Pacific region, has been assigned two blocks of IPv4 addresses by the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA). This latest allocation means that the IPv4 free pool dipped below 10% in January, just nine months ago. Since then, over 200 million IPv4 addresses have been allocated from IANA to the Regional Internet Registries (RIRs).

“This is a major milestone in the life of the Internet, and means that allocation of the last blocks of IPv4 to the RIRs is imminent,” states Axel Pawlik, Chairman of the Number Resource Organization (NRO), the official representative of the five RIRs. “It is critical that all Internet stakeholders take definitive action now to ensure the timely adoption of IPv6.”

IPv6 is the “next generation” of the Internet Protocol, providing a hugely expanded address space, which will allow the Internet to grow into the future. In 2010, the five RIRs are expected to allocate over 2,000 IPv6 address blocks, representing an increase of over 70% on the number of IPv6 allocations in 2009. In contrast, the number of IPv4 allocations is expected to grow by only 8% in 2010. These statistics indicate an absence of any last minute ”rush” on IPv4 addresses, and a strong momentum behind the adoption of IPv6.

“The allocation of Internet number resources by the five RIRs enables every region in the world to benefit from fair and equitable distribution of IPv4 and IPv6 addresses. We are also actively collaborating with stakeholders at the local, regional, and global level to offer training and advice to public and private sector organisations on IPv6 adoption to ensure that everyone is prepared for IPv4 depletion and IPv6 deployment,” added Pawlik.

The IANA assigns IPv4 addresses to the RIRs in blocks that equate to 1/256th of the entire IPv4 address space (each block is referred to as a “/8” or “slash-8”). The most recent assignment means that there are now only 12 of these blocks available, which is less than five percent of the entire IPv4 address pool.

The final five blocks of IPv4 addresses will be distributed simultaneously to the five RIRs, leaving only seven blocks to be handed out under the normal distribution method.

According to current depletion rates, the last five IPv4 address blocks will be allocated to the RIRs in early 2011. The pressure to adopt IPv6 is mounting. Many worry that without adequate preparation and action, there will be a chaotic scramble for IPv6, which could increase Internet costs and threaten the stability and security of the global network.

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