ICANN will announce the final depletion of its pool of IPv4 addresses this Thursday.
The Number Resource Organization will hold a “ceremony and press conference to make a significant announcement and to discuss the global transition to the next generation of Internet addresses”.
The NRO is ICANN’s supporting organization representing Regional Internet Registries, the outfits responsible for handing out IP addresses to network operators.
ICANN, the Internet Society and the Internet Architecture Board will also participate in the event, scheduled for Thursday February 3 at 1430 UTC. It will be webcast here.
Today, APNIC, the Asia-Pacific RIR, said that it has been assigned two /8 blocks of addresses, meaning IANA is down to its Final Five chunks.
Thursday’s ceremony will presumably entail ICANN/IANA officially handing out these last five blocks to the five RIRs, one each, as called for by its allocation policy.
After that, it’s all gone. No more IPv4. The age of IPv6 is upon us.
It is currently estimated that the RIRs will themselves run out of IPv4 in September. After that, if they need IP addresses they’ll receive IPv6.
IPv4 is rapidly becoming a scarce commodity.
Many people, including ICANN chairman Peter Dengate Thrush, have predicted a “gray market” for addresses to appear, with address blocks changing hands for less than the cost of upgrading to IPv6.
The focus on Thursday, however, will be all about the measures network operators need to implement in order to remain viable on an internet increasingly running IPv6 equipment.