On 20 May, 2014, ICANN announced that it had begun the process of allocating the remaining blocks of IPv4 address space to the five Regional Internet Registries (RIR). The trigger for this was LACNIC's pool of IPv4 address space reaching a /9 ( 8,388,606 addresses). LACNIC has now moved into Phase 1 of its community-defined IPv4 Exhaustion Plan. APNIC exhausted its supply of IPv4 address space in 2011 and the RIPE NCC followed quickly in 2012. In April 2014, ARIN announced that it had reached phase 4 of its IPv4 Exhaustion Plan.
"The Internet technical community has been preparing for this phase in global IPv4 exhaustion for the last few years and we expect the community-developed "Global Policy for Post Exhaustion IPv4 Allocation Mechanisms by the IANA" to kick-in shortly," says Adiel A. Akplogan, CEO of AFRINIC. "As we move into this new phase of the Internet's evolution, we cannot ignore the fact that total exhaustion of the global IPv4 pool will occur in the very near future. Although AFRINIC's supply of IPv4 address space has not reached critically low levels yet, we cannot predict how long our supplies will last. Existing and emerging networks will face scalability issues unless they are made IPv6 ready to ensure long-term network growth and global connectivity. It is now imperative that all African stakeholders ensure that IPv6 is deployed on their networks, that devices are IPv6 enabled and our content is available over IPv6 immediately so that we remain connected to the global IPv6 Internet and so that our millions of future Internet users can get online."
The community is encouraged to contribute to discussions on the Policy Discussion Mailing list and during the upcoming AFRINIC Meeting to voice their opinion on all aspects of regional and global Internet number resource allocation policies.
AFRINIC has been leading the effort throughout Africa to promote and support IPv6 deployment since 2005 through outreach, education, free training courses and provision of an IPv6 test bed. Find out more about our IPv6 Programme.
Read Adiel A. Akplogan's recent statement on the urgent need for all African stakeholders to deploy IPv6.