Internet Officially Out Of IPv4 Addresses

The Internet has officially run out of free IPv4 web addresses to issue after the final five blocks were handed over to the regional bodies that distribute them.

Even though the five blocks - called /8s - contain some 16 million IP addresses, they are expected to be completely depleted by September this year.

The BBC reports that, in a press conference called to mark the hand over, head of net overseer Icann Rod Beckstrom declared the event to be “one of the most important days in the Internet's history.”

“It is a point that the founders of the Internet thought would occur far in the future,” he added. “It gives us an opportunity to shift to an Internet protocol that offers a pool so large that it is difficult even to imagine.”

And that new protocol, Beckstrom said, is IPv6 - which holds a billion, trillion more addresses than the substantial 4.3 billion held by IPv4.

According to Beckstrom, the move to IPv6 is needed to allow the Internet to continue its “amazing” growth.

"The future of the Internet and the innovation it fosters lies with IPv6,” he said.