The end of IP4 – did you notice?

Over the weekend, ICANN, the organisation responsible for the allocation of IP4 addresses, announced,, that they had allocated the final lot of IP4 addresses. You can watch the ceremony in the below youtube video. The good news for us in Asia Pacific is, that we received the most of the remaining IP4 addresses, although the prediction is that we’ll run out of addresses at the ISP level in 3 to 6 months.

This is big day. To illustrate, it is the Internet equivalent to the big oil companies announcing that we are now out of crude oil. We are down to whatever reserves we have at the refineries and national storage reserves. However, unlike the oil scenario, the Internet software industry has quietly shipped the new IP6 for years to every desktop, laptop and most other Internet ready devices. You could compare this to a scenario where the car industry as a whole decided five years ago to produce hybrid only versions of all cars without anyone noticing.

The next one to two years will show how well we are able to transfer from the petrol/diesel only engines (IP4) to a mix of both (IP4/6). It will be anyone’s guess when (or even if) IP4 will be switched off – as unlike crude oil, IP4 isn’t going to stop working even though we have depleted our reserves… 🙂

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