Europe's RIPE NCC handing out its last block of IPv4 addresses, tries to fend off internet survivalism

In a world where IPv6 lives and IPv4 addresses are scarce, network providers must fight for survival... or at least, claim their IP blocks quickly. The RIPE NCC, the regional internet registry for Asia, Europe and the Middle East, warns that it's down to assigning its last set of 16.8 million IPv4 addresses as of this weekend. That sounds like a lot, but we'd do well to remember that the registry churned through about 5.2 million addresses in just the past two weeks. What's left won't be around for long, folks. To cut back on the number of Mad Max-style battles for dwindling resources, RIPE NCC is rationing out IPv4 for local registries in 1,024-address chunks -- and only to those who both have IPv6 assignments as well as proof of a need for IPv4. With just a bit more than half of the RIPE NCC's customers currently on IPv6, that could still trigger a shortfall among networks that haven't prepared for the internet protocol apocalypse. We'd advise that companies stock up on IPv6 supplies before launching the raiding parties.

RIPE NCC handing out its last block of IPv4 addresses, tries to fend off internet survivalism

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Milestone in Internet History as RIPE NCC Begins Allocating Last Blocks of IPv4 Addresses

Due diligence, transparency and fairness a priority

Deployment of IPv6 critical to continued Internet growth

Amsterdam, 14 September 2012 – The RIPE NCC, the Regional Internet Registry (RIR) for Europe, the Middle East and parts of Central Asia, today confirms it is now allocating IPv4 from the last /8[1] – the final block of 16.8 million IPv4 addresses, allocated by the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) to each of the five RIRs in February 2011.

Axel Pawlik, Managing Director of the RIPE NCC said, "When the Internet was first designed it seemed highly unlikely that IP address space would ever be an issue. However, the limitations of the pool of IPv4 address space became clear over time, and in the last few years we have been monitoring supplies closely, preparing ourselves and all stakeholders for the next stage of the Internet. Reaching the last /8 underlines the importance of IPv6 deployment, which is vital to the future growth of the Internet."

Pawlik continued, "More than 50% of our members already have an IPv6 address space allocation, but there is still a long way to go before we can say that everyone is prepared. IPv6 vastly increases the amount of address space, helping to enable an exciting turning point in society as Internet connected devices become increasingly more sophisticated and commonplace. IPv6 sets a firm foundation for guaranteeing that the future Internet remains reachable for all."

"The RIPE NCC and its members have always held due diligence, transparency and fairness as top priorities. As the supply of available IPv4 address space has become scarce, these priorities, which underlie the RIPE NCC's management of critical Internet resources, are more important than ever. By following the policies devised and agreed by the Internet community, the careful management of remaining IPv4 address space has been assured."

Since May 2012, the RIPE NCC has regularly published an interactive graph showing the amount of IPv4 address space available for allocation. Now that the RIPE NCC is allocating from the last /8, organisations applying for IPv4 address space are subject to IPv4 last /8 evaluation procedures. These processes are clearly laid out in the official policy developed by the RIPE community: each LIR can receive one /22 (1,024 IPv4 addresses) upon application for IPv4 resources. In order to obtain this /22 allocation, the LIR must already have an IPv6 allocation and have a demonstrated need for IPv4 address space.

To learn more about IPv6, you can visit: http://www.ipv6actnow.org

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