Exhaustion Dates and Impact
On 31 January 2011, the last two unreserved IANA /8 address blocks were allocated to APNIC according to RIR request procedures. This left five reserved but unallocated /8 blocks. In accord with ICANN policies, IANA proceeded to allocate one of those five /8s to each RIR, exhausting the IANA pool, at a ceremony and press conference on 3 February 2011.
The various legacy address blocks with administration historically split among the RIRs were distributed to the RIRs in February 2011.
APNIC was the first regional Internet Registry to run out of freely allocated IPv4 addresses, on 15 April 2011. This date marked the point where everybody who needed an IPv4 address could not be guaranteed to have one allocated. As a consequence of this exhaustion, end-to-end connectivity as required by specific applications will not be universally available on the Internet until IPv6 is fully implemented. However, IPv6 hosts cannot directly communicate with IPv4 hosts, and have to communicate using special gateway services. This means that general-purpose computers must still have IPv4 access, for example through NAT64, in addition to the new IPv6 address, which is more effort than just supporting IPv4 or IPv6. The demand for IPv6 is expected to ramp up to pervasiveness over three to four years.
In early 2011, only 16–26% of computers were latent IPv6 capable, while only 0.2% prefer IPv6 addressing many using transition methods such as Teredo tunneling. About 0.15% of the top million websites are IPv6 accessible. Complicating matters, 0.027% to 0.12% of visitors cannot reach dual-stack sites, but a larger percentage (0.27%) cannot reach IPv4-only sites. IPv4 exhaustion mitigation technologies include IPv4 address sharing to access IPv4 content, IPv6 dual-stack implementation, protocol translation to access IPv4 and IPv6-addressed content, and bridging and tunneling to bypass single protocol routers. Early signs of accelerated IPv6 adoption after IANA exhaustion are evident.
Read more about this topic: IP Address Exhaustion
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