RIPE (Réseaux IP Européens), the regional Internet Registry for Europe, announced (opens in new tab)Monday that it has run out of IPv4 addresses. Any new allocation will be drastically limited in the future.
RIPE said this should not come as a surprise to network operators, as the IPv4 run-out has been long anticipated and planned for by the RIPE community.
IPv4 Waiting List
RIPE said that it will continue to release IPV4 addresses in the future, but only based on a waiting list. It also plans to give them out to companies that didn’t receive an IPv4 allocation from RIPE at all in the past, no matter how small or large that allocation.
These IPv4 addresses will be reused from companies that have closed down or from networks that no longer need certain IPv4 address ranges. RIPE also warned that there will be small amounts allocated to its new members, and these amounts will not come close to the millions of IPv4 addresses that networks in Europe need today.
RIPE created a graph (opens in new tab) to show how many members are on the waiting list right now, and things aren’t looking very promising for those in need of IPv4 addresses.
Time to Switch to IPv6
Over the past few years as we started seeing shortages of IPv4 addresses, we also began to see an increased number of IPv4 ownership transfers, as well as greater use of Carrier Grade Network Address Translation (CGNAT), an extension of traditional Network Address Translation (NAT) technologies targeting large networks and ISPs. However, neither one of these short-term solutions solve the fundamental problem, which is that the world simply has too many devices that communicate with the Internet and need their own IP address. IPv4 addresses can no longer accommodate all of these devices, and RIPE believes that it’s long overdue that more companies switch to using IPv6 addresses.
RIPE called on all stakeholders to play their role in IPv6 rollout so that the Internet doesn’t become unnecessarily limited in the not-too-distant future over a lack of sufficient network identifiers. The organization also promised to provide advice, training, measurements and tools to help network operators as they put their deployment plans into action.