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).
Afnic is the acronym for Association Française pour le Nommage Internet en Coopération, the French Network Information Centre. The registry has been appointed by the French government to manage domain names under the .fr Top Level Domain. Afnic also manages the .re (Reunion Island), .pm (Saint-Pierre and Miquelon), .tf (French Southern and Antarctic Territories), .wf (Wallis and Futuna) and .yt (Mayotte) French Overseas TLDs.
In addition to managing French TLDs, Afnic’s role is part of a wider public interest mission, which is to contribute on a daily basis, thanks to the efforts of its teams and its members, to a secure and stable internet, open to innovation and in which the French internet community plays a leading role. As part of that mission, Afnic, a non-profit organization, has committed to devoting 11% of its Revenues from managing .fr Top Level Domain to actions of general interest, in particular by transferring €1.3 million each year to the Afnic Foundation for Digital Solidarity.
Afnic is also the back-end registry for the companies as well as local and regional authorities that have chosen to have their own TLD, such as .paris, .bzh, .alsace, .corsica, .mma, .ovh, .leclerc and .sncf.
Established in 1997 and based in Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines, Afnic currently has nearly 90 employees.