3 February 2011

Free Pool of IPv4 Address Space Depleted

IPv6 adoption at critical phase

Montevideo, 3 February 2011 – The Number Resource Organization (NRO) announced today that the free pool of available IPv4 addresses is now fully depleted. On Monday, January 31, the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) allocated two blocks of IPv4 address space to APNIC, the Regional Internet Registry (RIR) for the Asia Pacific region, which triggered a global policy to allocate the remaining IANA pool equally between the five RIRs. Today IANA allocated those blocks. This means that there are no longer any IPv4 addresses available for allocation from the IANA to the five RIRs.

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″. A global policy agreed on by all five RIR communities and ratified in 2009 by ICANN, the international body responsible for the IANA function, dictated that when the IANA IPv4 free pool reached five remaining /8 blocks, these blocks were to be simultaneously and equally distributed to the five RIRs.

“This is an historic day in the history of the Internet, and one we have been anticipating for quite some time,” states Raúl Echeberría, Chairman of the Number Resource Organization (NRO), the official representative of the five RIRs. “The future of the Internet is in IPv6. All Internet stakeholders must now take definitive action to deploy IPv6.”

“This is truly a major turning point in the on-going development of the Internet,” said Rod Beckstrom, ICANN’s President and Chief Executive Officer. “Nobody was caught off guard by this, the Internet technical community has been planning for IPv4 depletion for quite some time. But it means the adoption of IPv6 is now of paramount importance, since it will allow the Internet to continue its amazing growth and foster the global innovation we’ve all come to expect.”

IPv6 is the “next generation” of the Internet Protocol, providing a hugely expanded address space and allowing the Internet to grow into the future. “Billions of people world wide use the Internet for everything from sending tweets to paying bills. The transition to IPv6 from IPv4 represents an opportunity for even more innovative applications without the fear of running out of essential Internet IP addresses,” said Vice President of IANA Elise Gerich.

Adoption of IPv6 is now vital for all Internet stakeholders. The RIRs have been working with network operators at the local, regional, and global level for more than a decade to offer training and advice on IPv6 adoption and ensure that everyone is prepared for the exhaustion of IPv4.

“Each RIR will have its final full /8 from IANA, plus any existing IP address holdings to distribute. Depending on address space requests received, this could last each RIR anywhere from a few weeks to many months. It’s only a matter of time before the RIRs and Internet Service Providers (ISPs) must start denying requests for IPv4 address space. Deploying IPv6 is now a requirement, not an option,” added Echeberría. IPv6 address space has been available since 1999. Visit http://www.nro.net/ipv6/ for more information on IPv6, or your local RIR for information on how to get address space.

Notes to Editors

About the Number Resource Organization (NRO):

The Number Resource Organization (NRO) is the coordinating mechanism for the five Regional Internet Registries (RIRs). The RIRs – AFRINIC, APNIC, ARIN, LACNIC, and the RIPE NCC – ensure the fair and equitable distribution of Internet number resources (IPv6 and IPv4 addresses and Autonomous System (AS) numbers) in their respective regions. The NRO exists to protect the unallocated Internet number resource pool, foster open and consensus-based policy development, and provide a single point of contact for communication with the RIRs. Learn more about the NRO at www.nro.net/media.

About the Regional Internet Registries (RIRs)

The five Regional Internet Registries (RIRs) that make up the NRO are independent, not-for-profit membership organizations that support the infrastructure of the Internet through technical coordination. The Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) allocates blocks of IP addresses and ASNs, known collectively as Internet number resources, to the RIRs, who then distribute them to users within their own specific service regions. Organizations that receive resources directly from RIRs include Internet Service Providers (ISPs), telecommunications organizations, large corporations, governments, academic institutions, and industry stakeholders, including end users.

The RIR model of open, transparent participation has proven successful at responding to the rapidly changing Internet environment. Each RIR holds one or two open meetings per year, as well as facilitating online discussion by the community, to allow the open exchange of ideas from the technical community, the business sector, civil society, and government regulators.

The five RIRs are:

Contacts

Number Resource Organization
Email: media@nro.net

Lucie Smith
Tel: 0208 752 3200
Email: ripencc@racepointgroup.com

Ian Lipner
Tel: 1 202 349 3795
Email: arin@lewispr.com

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