Europe Runs out of IPv4 Internet Addresses

September 17, 2012 / WHUK Updates

It’s now official- IPv4 addresses in Europe are now in serious short supply. Ripe NCC (Network Coordination Centre) the organization that provides IP addresses to European ISPs, has now started strict rationing of IPv4 addresses.

Now, organisations will be restricted to making only one more application for IPv4 addresses and, if successful, will only get 1,024 of them. They will also have to justify as to how they intend to use the new addressing scheme.

“The day has come, finally,” said Axel Pawlik, managing director of the Ripe NCC while informing about the new rations and regulations.

Every device connected to the internet is given a unique Internet Protocol (IP) address. The addressing scheme used to assign these unique addresses is IP Version 4 (IPv4). In the 1970s, there were 4.3 IPv4 billion IP addresses – a number that was considered enough at that time. But with the rapid expansion of the internet and the increase in number of online devices, IPv4 soon exhausted the large pool of addresses.

IPv4 to IPv6

On 14 September Ripe NCC reached the end of its reserve of IPv4 addresses with only 16 million addresses remaining. According to Mr Pawlik, while it seems to be a lot, the use of this last block will be strictly regulated that you may as well think the supply is at n end.

“Applicants will only get about 1,000 addresses,” said Mr Pawlik, “and that’s it and they only get them once and that’s the end of it.”

IPv6 – the new IP scheme, is the solution. Applicants must already have an allocation of IPv6 addresses and also show how they intended to use them. Immediately before they hit the last remaining block of IPv4, Ripe NCC was giving out just under 4 million IPv4 addresses in every 10 days.

The picture is clear – if you are planning the expansion of your online business, you should already start looking at buying IPv6 internet addresses which have an effectively inexhaustible supply of addresses.

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