An IP (short for Internet Protocol) address is the address assigned to a computer when it connects to the Internet. But the world stock of them is running out. Indeed, on 4 February last, the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) – the umbrella organization responsible for managing the IP address space of the Internet – delivered the last five blocks of IPv4 addresses in the Asia-Pacific region.
IPv4 addresses rationed in the Asia-Pacific region
To date, the Asia-Pacific is the first region in the world to be affected by the shortage of IPv4 addresses, when they were only scheduled to run out in a few months. The reason is the growth in telecom use on the most densely populated continent of the world, which has been even faster than expected, leading the Asian Regional Internet Registry, APNIC (Asia Pacific Network Information Center) to ration the last IPv4 addresses.
One more year’s stock of IPv4 addresses still left in Europe
Regional Internet Registries (RIR) are the bodies which distribute IPv4 addresses to ISPs, hosting providers and operators, as and when requested. The latter then transfer them to their customers and subscribers. The Regional Internet Registry for Europe still has enough IPv4 address to last one more year. As has happened in Asia, the European RIRs will continue to issue these addresses, but will probably slow down the frequency.
The alternative: deploy IPv6
The alternative to the shortage of IPv4 addresses depends on the deployment of IPv6. The new protocol will enable the allocation of more than 340 sextillions new addresses. It will also help develop the Internet of Things and improve network security. In 2009, allocations for IPv6 addresses in the five Regional Internet Registries jumped 30%.
(Association Française pour le Nommage Internet en Coopération )
Non-profit organization, AFNIC is in charge of the administrative and technical management of the .fr (France) and .re (Reunion Island) Internet domain names.
AFNIC brings together public and private members: representatives from the French government, Internet users and Internet Service Providers (Registrars).