RIPE NCC handing out last European IPv4 addresses
Going, going, almost gone
The Réseaux IP Européens Network Coordination Centre (RIPE NCC) has started to hand out the last remaining Internet Protocol version 4 addresses in its possession.
Anyone who wants some more IPv4 addresses can still get them, provided they are already signed up to acquire IPv6 addresses from RIPE NCC or another internet registry. Even if an entity qualifies on those criteria, RIPE NCC will dispense only 1024 IPv4 addresses. According to RIPE NCC’s IPv4 Address Allocation and Assignment Policies for the RIPE NCC Service Region: “No new IPv4 Provider Independent (PI) space will be assigned”, but existing and new LIRs can still apply for a one-off last/22 allocation of IPv4, under the terms listed here.
Any IPv4 addresses RIPE NCC hands out will come from a reserve called the “last/8”, which has just over 17 million addresses remaining at the time of writing. That number often reduces at a rate of several hundred thousand addresses each day, according to the interactive graph available here.
While RIPE NCC maintains a small strategic reserve of IPv4 addresses to help it meet temporary demands, the organisation is making it clear that there's little future in the old protocol, stating “It is now imperative that all stakeholders deploy IPv6 on their networks to ensure the continuity of their online operations and the future growth of the Internet.” ®
Re: Welcome to the club
The bigger question is: Why do still almost all websites and internet services support only IPv4, and why do most ISP's still not offer proper IPv6 support?
Running out of space apparently means NOTHING to these hosting outfits and ISP's. Nothing at all. Because they still don't offer even the simplest IPv6 accessibility. And they've been warned for years.
Now, I'm with a hosting firm that offers IPv6 IP's on even their basic £10/month account if you want one. You click a request button and, bam, it gives you an address. Trouble is that it does exactly that for IPv4 as well and you can get 5 consecutive addresses, no questions asked. The fact that they're consecutive tells me that they actually allocate 5 to each customer anyway.
It honestly and truly looks like people won't give a damn (even the techy people, who are supposed to be leading the way and reading things like The Reg and Slashdot, neither of which offer AAAA records!) until they can't get an address. Especially when the doomsayers have been saying for years that we are running out, they're just not going to listen until there's none left and then they'll face some awkward questions like "Why can't we buy a website that's accessible to 99% of our customers who only use IPv4 still because that's all their ISP/router offers them?".
And for all the scaremongering, those leading the charge and reporting the shortages are the worst example: bbc.co.uk, theregister.co.uk, slashdot.org, etc. do not have AAAA records and even google's IPv6 requires your ISP to be "approved" by them for compatibility before they open it up to you. Is it hard to publish an AAAA record for a website? Not really. Certainly nothing compared to deploying a script of some kind. But nobody does it.
Sort it out, websites and other Internet services, and then maybe we can all be high-and-mighty about the end of IPv4 rather than sheepishly reporting it and hoping it doesn't happen.
Already on IPv6 here. Now, if only sites like The Register would switch to a dual stack service like Heise has done.
www.theregister.co.uk has address 18.104.22.168
www.heise.de has address 22.214.171.124
www.heise.de has IPv6 address 2a02:2e0:3fe:100::7
Sadly the ISPs are looking at CGN
Unfortunately the ISPs see the answer as Carrier Grade NAT (CGN) - while for a fairly large proportion of their customers this will likely work (most *commonly used* protocols don't require you to have a public IP, the only notable exception that comes to mind is BitTorrent, but I'm sure ISPs won't mind causing their users problems there!), the big thing they're missing is that it won't be long before we start having services that are IPv6 only (as the providers can't get any IPv4 addressing for them), at which point CGN doesn't help...