Uh Oh! North America Runs Out of Internet Addresses

ItEUs the end of an era, even if it isnEUt exactly the end of the Internet. North America has now officially exhausted the number of available IPv4 Internet IP addresses, according to the organization responsible for managing the addresses. The news affects companies in the U.S., Canada, and in some Caribbean countries.

The American Registry of Internet Numbers (ARIN) said yesterday that it has issued the last IP addresses in its free pool. ARIN is the non-profit organization in charge of overseeing Internet number resources such as routing registries, registration transaction numbers, and domain name servers.

Organizations can still request IPv4 addresses, however. ARIN said it will continue to process and approve requests for address blocks, which may then be fulfilled via a wait list or by its transfer market that allows companies to release IP addresses they no longer need. Entities will also now be able to make unlimited numbers of transfer requests for the first time, as a result of the end of the existing IP addresses.

A Very Long Waiting List

For organizations on the wait list, receiving an IPv4 address will be contingent on ARIN receiving new addresses from the Internet Assigned Numbers Registry (IANA), a unit of ICANN, the corporation responsible for overseeing the global allocation of IP addresses. Members of the wait list can also receive addresses from organizations that return their IP addresses or whose IP addresses are revoked.

EUIf we are able to fully satisfy all of the requests on the waiting list, any remaining IPv4 addresses would be placed into the ARIN free pool of IPv4 addresses to satisfy future requests,EU said John Curran, president and CEO of ARIN, in a statement. However, the organization isnEUt expecting to see a large influx of unused IPv4 addresses.

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