The world's supply of free IPv4 address space has fallen to below 5%, and is set to run out early next year, the Number Resource Organization (NRO) has warned.
APAC internet registry APNIC has just been assigned two blocks of IPv4 addresses, leaving just 12 blocks remaining, the NRO said. Each block is equivalent to 1/256th of the total IPv4 space of nearly 4.3 billion IP addresses.
The final five will be distributed simultaneously to each of the regional internet registries, so only seven remain to be given out normally.
The NRO said that at the current rate of exhaustion, the final five blocks of IPv4 addresses will be allocated in early 2011.
“The pressure to adopt IPv6 is mounting. Many worry that without adequate preparation and action, there will be a chaotic scramble for IPv6,” the NRO said in a statement.
The supply of IPv4 addresses hit 10% in January, and since then more than 200 million IPv4 addresses have been allocated.
IPv4 address exhaustion uniquely affects the Asia-Pacific region because of the region's rapid pace of growth, according to APNIC. Around 45.9% of the IPv6 addresses allocated in the world last year went to the region.
But the five regional registries are expected to allocate over 2,000 IPv6 address blocks this year – a 70% increase from 2009. This compares to just an 8% growth in IPv4 allocations for the year. The NRO said this indicated a strong momentum behind IPv6 adoption.