After years of publicity, the day when the global IPv4 address ran out, finally came. In fact, as early as the 1980s, researchers had foreseen such a future, and in 2012 they experienced the depletion of top-of-the-line IPv4 addresses. By then, all IPv4 addresses had been assigned to Internet registrars in five regions. Today, the regional IPv4 address inventory is exhausted.
(Instagram via MSPU)
Today, all 4.3 billion IPv4 addresses are exhausted, meaning no more IPv4 addresses can be assigned to Internet service providers (ISPs) and other large network infrastructure providers.
On April 15, 2011, APNIC (Asia Pacific) exhausted the IPv4 address pool;
On September 14, 2012, the last batch of IPv4 blocks was allocated by THE RIPE NCC (Europe / Middle East / Central Asia);
On June 10, 2014, LACNIC (Latin America / Caribbean) exhausted the IPv4 address;
On September 24, 2015, THE LAST BATCH OF IPV4 ADDRESSES WAS FINALLY COMPLETED BY THE RIPE NCC (NORTH AMERICA / EUROPE).
On the afternoon of November 25, 2019 (UTC plus 1), Nikolas Pediaditis said in an email:
At 15:35 this afternoon, we completed the final IPv4 address assignment from the available address pool. Such a day is not surprising for network operators, and the RIPE community has long foreseen and planned accordingly.
In fact, officially because the community is responsible for managing these resources, we can continue to provide thousands of new networks in the service area after the last batch of /8 addresses were allocated in 2012.
In theory, the exhaustion of IPv4 addresses means that no new IPv4 devices can be added to the Internet. But in fact, we have some ways to cushion the impact of iPv4 address exhaustion.
First, the ISP can reuse or recycle unused IPv4 addresses. Second, we can use the same public-net IP behind the ISP router through network address translation (NAT) technology.
In the end, of course, we’re going to throw in the arms of IPv6. In order to make a smooth transition, the industry has developed proactive response strategies to enable direct point-to-point connectivity across the Internet for 3.x 10?38 address spaces.