IPv4 addresses "to be exhausted within six months"
Internet address registries continue to push for move to IPv6
Experts have warned the web could run out of free addresses within six months, after the last five blocks of IPv4 addresses were handed out.
Earlier this week, two blocks were passed to the the Asia-Pacific internet registry, leaving five remaining. Those have now been distributed to the five regional internet registries (RIRs).
Each block has more than 16 million addresses, which are expected to run out within months, as more and more devices come online.
Deploying IPv6 is now a requirement, not an option
Axel Pawlik, the managing director of RIPE NCC - the RIR for Europe - said "from now on, every day counts."
He told PC Pro that the RIPE NCC, which also covers the Middle East and parts of Central Asia, has about six months of stock left.
That view was echoed by Raul Echeberría, the chairman of the Number Resource Organisation. "Depending on address space requests received, this could last each RIR anywhere from a few weeks to many months," said Echeberría. "It’s only a matter of time before the RIRs and internet service providers must start denying requests for IPv4 address space. Deploying IPv6 is now a requirement, not an option.”
However, researchers this week noted that many blocks aren't fully used, which could buy more time for the IPv6 switchover.
Web giants such as Google are pushing the issue by holding an IPv6 day in June, with its major sites flipped over for 24 hours.