IPv4 and IPv6 Demand Grows While Available IPv4 Addresses Near Exhaustion: NRO Report

ARIN logoDemand for both IPv4 and IPv6 address space is continuing to grow with the number of available IPv4 addresses declining to 8.5 per cent of the total number available according to the Internet Number Resource Status Report for the first quarter of 2010, released to coincide with the ARIN meeting that concluded Wednesday in Toronto, Canada.
The report is based on data collected by the five Regional Internet Registries (RIRs) that oversee the allocation of all Internet number resources, and outlines RIR allocation of IP address space (IPv4 and IPv6), as well as number assignments.

The increase in take-up of IPv4 addresses is being driven by a huge demand by ISPs in China. And while take-up of IPv6 addresses continues to grow, it is from a very small base.In the report, the NRO notes that allocations of IPv4 addresses in quarter one have reduced the IANA free pool of IPv4 addresses to 8.5 percent. During the same period, APNIC, the RIR for the Asia Pacific, allocated 1.6 /8s (nearly 27 million IPv4 addresses) to its members, more than any RIR has ever issued in a single quarter, largely driven by a huge demand by ISPs in China.

“The allocation rate of IPv4 addresses continues to increase due to the growing number of devices that require IP addresses – mobile phones, laptops, servers, routers, and more,” said Axel Pawlik, chair of the NRO. “We have also seen many new IP address requests from developing countries, whose populations are coming online more quickly than ever before.”

Pawlik also noted that additional allocations in early Q2 have now left only 7.8 percent of IPv4 addresses unallocated.

And while take-up of IPv6 addresses continues to grow, it is from a very small base.

Key findings of the status report include:

  • APNIC issued 1.6 IPv4 /8s in the first quarter of 2010
  • APNIC issued 186 IPv6 allocations in the first quarter of 2010 – that is more allocations in three months than it has ever made in any single year
  • For only the second time, LACNIC issued more IPv4 address space than ARIN.

“The five RIRs saw an increase of nearly 30 per cent in the amount of IPv6 address space allocated to members in 2009, an encouraging sign that more organizations are preparing for the transition,” Pawlik remarked. “With limited IPv4 addresses remaining, deployment of IPv6 is critical to the continued development of the Internet.”

The RIRs, working individually and collectively as the NRO, have actively promoted IPv6 deployment for several years through grassroots activities, speaking opportunities, technical training, conferences, government liaison and media outreach.

Attending the ARIN meeting was Milton Mueller who has written on the highlights for him so far here. He writes the ARIN meeting is “far more focused on policy making than its European counterpart (RIPE-NCC)”, which he believes is “good”. But he was not impressed with a presentation by the FBI and Royal Canadian Mounted Police who said “how badly they need Whois data.” But he also liked a presentation by Geoff Huston on the scalability of routing saying it “was another highlight of the meeting.”

The NRO report is available for download from: