No new IP addresses will be left on the internet within a year, leading to more expensive web services, the Sydney Morning Herald has reported.
According to Geoff Huston, chief scientist at Asia-Pacific Internet registrar APNIC, the IPv4 protocol can only offer four billion IP addresses, out of which only 232 million are left in the entire world.
It has been estimated that the remaining addresses will be used up in not more than 340 days.
“When the IPv4 protocol was developed 30 years ago, it seemed to be a reasonable attempt at providing enough addresses, bearing in mind that at that point personal computers didn’t really exist,” stated John Lindsay, carrier relations manager at Australian ISP Internode.
He said that devices will be needed to shift to IPv6 before IP addresses run out, but warned it wouldn't be easy:
"Moving from IPv4 to IPv6 is a little like changing the roads and tyres while continuing to drive along in your car," he said.
Experts have blamed the rise in popularity of smartphones, PCs and Internet connected devices for the shortage.