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North America has run out of IPv4 addresses

Yesterday North America finally ran out of IPv4 addresses. This spells trouble for the growth of the internet and it’s a huge challenge for the next billion devices (IoT gadgets, connected cars etc.), which will struggle to become a reality unless IPv6 is widely adopted soon.

North America has thus joined the Asia Pacific region (APNIC - ran out of IPv4 in April 2011), Europe, the Middle East and parts of central Asia (RIPE NCC - ran out of IPv4 in September 2012) and Latin America (ran out of IPv4 in June 2014).

ARIN, the regional internet registry for North America, is no longer able to meet requests for IPv4 addresses, but that doesn’t mean the internet will stop working, APNIC director-general Paul Wilson said.

“ARIN’s announcement does not mean the Internet will stop working, nor stop growing. What it does mean is that Internet businesses globally need to continue the move to the next generation of Internet addressing, IPv6, because the demand for Internet addresses is not going to cease."

"As yet another IPv4 milestone is reached, this time in the ARIN region, it's an important reminder that IPv6 deployment is essential to safeguard the future growth of the Internet,” said Axel Pawlik, managing director of the RIPE NCC.

“By giving each device a unique IP address, the next generation of Internet-based technology is made possible. The ongoing proliferation of Internet-connected devices and driverless cars cannot happen without IPv6. Similarly, connecting the next billion people to the Internet will ultimately be impossible without IPv6. There are workarounds that may work in the short-term, but if we want a truly open Internet, IPv6 is the only way forward."

RIPE NCC - IP address infographic

Sead Fadilpašić

Sead is a freelance journalist with more than 15 years of experience in writing various types of content, from blogs, whitepapers, and reviews to ebooks, and many more, across sites including Al Jazeera Balkans, TechRadar Pro, IT Pro Portal, and CryptoNews.