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No more numbers: IPv4 exhausted

Early Tuesday morning, internet address authority IANA (the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority) handed out two of the last blocks of freely available IPv4 addresses to APNIC, regional internet registry of the Asia Pacific. The move triggered an automatic distribution of the remaining five blocks to each of the regional registries. There are no more IP addresses to be had from version four.

Over the next several months the internet registries will distribute these last addresses to network operators and service providers. According to RIPE NCC, the regional internet registry for Europe and Middle East, this is “the biggest event in the history of the internet”. On Thursday, IANA and the regional internet registries will hold an official press conference to discuss the plight of the internet following the exhaustion of IPv4.

According to RIPE, the proliferation of internet-connected phones, ereaders and other devices has accelerated the depletion of IPv4 addresses worldwide, forcing an early adoption of the next generation of IP addressing, IPv6. IPv6 includes a modern numbering system that provides a much larger address pool than IPv4, as when cellular devices come online en masse, only IPv6 will be able to provide a sufficient number of addresses.

IPv6 with its substantial address space of 128 bits as compared to 32 bits in IPv4 will provide virtually unlimited IP addresses for the future, expanding the number of possible addresses from approximately four billion with IPv4 to roughly 340 trillion trillion trillion with IPv6 .

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One comment

  1. Avatar RapidSpeeds 22/05/2011 @ 3:41 pm

    It’s a scary thought for some, but really it’s not too bad. Most people will simply dual stack until we all go native, which is very simple to understand and easy to execute!

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