AFRINIC is now the only RIR able to freely allocate IPv4 address space to its members marking a significant milestone in the evolution of the global Internet.
ARIN, the Regional Internet Registry (RIR) for Canada, many Caribbean and North Atlantic islands and the United States, announced on 1 July 2015 that it has activated its "Unmet Request Policy". This means that ARIN has effectively depleted its free pool of IPv4 address space, making it the fourth of the world’s five RIRs to do so. This leaves AFRINIC, the RIR for Africa and the Indian Ocean, as the only RIR with an as-yet unrestricted pool of IPv4 from which to allocate to its members.
As of 1 July, ARIN members can now only receive IPv4 space if unused IPv4 space is returned to ARIN and is redistributed to those on the waiting list, or if they qualify for an allocation from the reserved IPv4 space in ARIN’s ‘Last /8’, which was set aside to facilitate IPv6 deployment, or via external IPv4 transfer markets. APNIC – the RIR for the Asia Pacific Region - was the first RIR to exhaust its supply of IPv4 address space back in 2011 and the RIPE NCC (Europe, the Middle East and parts of Central Asia) followed quickly in 2012. LACNIC (Latin America and the Caribbean) reached its exhaustion trigger level in June 2014.
IPv6 Deployment Now More Critical Than Ever
The five RIRs have worked with their respective communities over the last decade to ensure that IPv4 exhaustion makes as little impact as possible on the smooth functioning of the Internet. As the supply of available IPv4 address space becomes critically low, more and more new connections will be made over IPv6 as opposed to IPv4. The future of the Internet will be over IPv6 and, unless African networks and businesses also transition, they risk becoming isolated from the global Internet. AFRINIC offers free training on IPv6 deployment to network engineers, academics and governments throughout the region as part of its capacity building activities. It also provides an IPv6 test bed for engineers to test their deployments and offers information and statistics on IPv6 and what IPv4 exhaustion means for the local, regional and global Internet.