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Networking The Internet

NRO Warns They Are On Final IPv4 Address Blocks 282

eldavojohn writes "According to the Number Resources Organization, they will have issued their final twelve IPv4 blocks in a few months. Each block is 16 million addresses and represents 1/256th of the total addresses issued. We are now down to 12 blocks left in the global pool for issuing to Regional Internet Registries, who will then assign the last addresses that will run out sometime later in 2011. The pool of free addresses works out to be less than half of where we were in January. The new numbers from the NRO indicate estimated global pool IP address exhaustion in a few months, a year earlier than they estimated at the beginning of 2010."
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NRO Warns They Are On Final IPv4 Address Blocks

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  • by betterunixthanunix ( 980855 ) on Monday October 18, 2010 @03:38PM (#33937206)
    I would not count on it. ISPs are increasingly consumption-oriented services; I would guess that instead of deploying IPv6, we will start to see ISPs offer lower prices for customers who agree to be NATed (or perhaps, demanding higher prices from those customers who refuse to be NATed).

    Maybe there is some hope at the universities, though...
  • by gmuslera ( 3436 ) on Monday October 18, 2010 @03:44PM (#33937300) Homepage Journal
    Will be siites and services with only ipv6 addresses, that won't be able to be accessed from ipv4
  • by JSBiff ( 87824 ) on Monday October 18, 2010 @03:55PM (#33937516) Journal

    Yeah, this gets posted EVERY TIME there's an article about IPv4 address exhaustion, and every time the answer is the same - increasing assignment efficiency will at most buy us a few months, perhaps a year or two, of time. It doesn't solve the problem, only postpones it a little longer.

    In truth, when the addresses are exhausted, I expect all the holders of /8's to start auctioning off their unused allotments to the highest bidder. There's a reason none (or most) of them have not given addresses back voluntarily - they are about to become a very scarce, very valuable commodity for trade. Those companies who got in early and got a Class A will make maybe hundreds of millions or even billions of dollars auctioning off the addresses. When companies who have IPv4 address blocks are going into bankruptcy or up for sale, the value of their allotments will start to be accounted for as assets.

    Which, I think, is one reason that some tech companies are not pushing harder for IPv6 adoption - they stand to make a lot of money off of artificial scarcity.

  • by ADRA ( 37398 ) on Monday October 18, 2010 @03:56PM (#33937528)

    Yes, and the reason why NAT routers have to do that is because of broken protocols that depend of the incorrect assumption that two hosts have unlimited unfettered universally synchronous connections to one another. They don't, and any modern protocol designer should be writing protocols that understand this principle. Even without NAT, you still have inbound connection blocking from firewalls, so there should be no good reason why someone should run into firewall/NAT issues beyond simply ignorance.

  • by JSBiff ( 87824 ) on Monday October 18, 2010 @04:08PM (#33937742) Journal

    I hope I'm wrong, but I've come to the conclusion there will be no quick transition to IPv6. When the last blocks get allocated, I think we'll enter a period of several years at least where IPv6 is *starting* to get rolled out, but is not rolled out yet, and companies who desperately need public IP addresses for their servers will pay thousands of dollars to buy IPv4 addresses from the hoarders. It's not like the Internet will suddenly end when IP address exhaustion is reached, it will just become much harder to get a public IP for servers or for making your home computer accessible to the outside world.

    Carrier Grade NAT will probably start to be used by large ISPs, further extending the life of IPv4 by making it so that instead of getting 1 public IP address for your home/small business network, you now get zero public IP addresses for your home/SB network. Through stuff like that, millions of IP addresses will be 'reclaimed' and made available. . . at a price.

    The increased price *will* give an incentive, finally, to companies and people to start adopting IPv6, but we're going to go through an expensive transitional period for some period of time while that happens.

    The sad thing is, I'm ready to use IPv6 today (and am using it a little through a tunnel broker), but there's no indication from my ISP that they ever have any plan to turn on IPv6 in their routers. The only U.S. ISPs I've heard of who are planning to test IPv6 are Comcast and Earthlink.

  • by Merpy ( 1475709 ) on Monday October 18, 2010 @04:11PM (#33937784)
    What exactly is supposed to happen? Does it mean that new devices can't hook to the internet - or does something happen to everything that's currently running?
  • Re:Again?... (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 18, 2010 @04:21PM (#33937978)

    i hope we don't recover any of those blocks, recovering those blocks is just going to push back the problem by several months instead of solving it by going to IPv6

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 18, 2010 @04:34PM (#33938204)

    I know of a class B address block that is sitting unused. It's a weird dispute - company A received it (I was sysadm then @Company A) However, company A split into two - Company B and Company A. Company B claimed the address block as part of their assets, so I let it go (company A was later bought by company C which was then aquired by company D which encouraged most of A and C to find other opportunities.) A few years after the split - company B closed.

    A few years (say, about 10) I start snooping around the net, and lo and behold - my original class B addy space has gone untouched! As it turns out, I now work for Company G, and company B's corp lawyer also works for company G, so I shot him a note. He said two things: 1) Company B still claims it as an asset 2) If I aid him in selling it, I'll get a percentage. Also, I read this as: if I upset the apple cart, my butt will be lawyer grass.

    Sooooo... Kind slashdotters - help me make things right. My reading, is that the right thing to do is to contact the number gods, and let them know this addy space is idle. However, as someone who has a keen interest in preserving my own butt, I'd don't want to upset the apple card (see above.)


  • by hardburn ( 141468 ) <hardburn&wumpus-cave,net> on Monday October 18, 2010 @04:36PM (#33938242)

    I currently run a business-class DSL connection with a block of 5 static IPs. I only use two. So, one may ask if there's any way to reclaim the other three.

    The answer is quite simply no. There are technical reasons why you can't assign IPv4 addresses in blocks less than 5 but more than 1. Nor is there any clear way I could share the extra addresses with someone else. The other three addresses are simply lost. Multiply that by hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions, of similar installations at ISPs and colos, and then you see why this is a problem that goes way beyond those misappropriated /8's.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 18, 2010 @05:02PM (#33938658)

    From what I've read, the internet back-bone is ready for IPv6, it's just the ISPs that need to start using it.

    I know my ISP is handing out IPv6 addresses. Charter Comm. They do get routed to a broker, but if I do a tracert I get several hop responses from my ISP with valid public IPv6 addresses before going to a broker, then google.

    I even get a DNS name a long with my IPv6 IP. Bit Torrent even starts using IPv6 when I hook up this way. Yay for no port forwarding!

    The best part is I don't even need to setup anything. A 100% fresh Win7 install, plug into my cable modem, and works instantly.

    Alas, I can't use it though. My ISP still limits my cable modem to only respond to the first MAC address it picks up on the network. Once I get DD-WRT on my Netgear 3700(it's still very buggy), I will let my router talk to the modem and my router can handle IPv6 on my network.

  • by JumpDrive ( 1437895 ) on Monday October 18, 2010 @05:27PM (#33939028)
    Yeah right, they'll offer lower prices. :-P
    I think they've known all along that they will raise prices and as soon as the media starts bombarding everyone with a crisis, they will roll out new more expensive services.
    Meanwhile PR departments from a number of major ISP's will go on and on as to why IPv6 is not feasible.
  • by ion.simon.c ( 1183967 ) on Monday October 18, 2010 @05:46PM (#33939262)

    How long do you give it until ipv6 address space exhaustion?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 18, 2010 @06:35PM (#33939854)

    But this is only ALLOCATION, not USAGE.

    Its like how companies always report that they "shipped" X number of product, when in reality only Y number was purchased... In this case, X number addresses have been allocated to various organizations around the world whereas they have actually only used Y number of addresses. ISPs and data center pre-allocation their IP resources before they are even consumed.

  • by Todd Knarr ( 15451 ) on Tuesday October 19, 2010 @05:06AM (#33943844) Homepage

    It probably won't be not being able to read your Facebook page. It'll more likely be that one day your Internet connection stops working because your ISP doesn't have enough IPv4 addresses to give one to every subscriber, they can't get any more netblocks, and you happened to be the guy whose computer was turned off when someone else wanted the last free address. Or your company suddenly can't submit it's payroll because the company that processes their payroll started providing IPv6 address resolution and, while your company's machines understand it quite well, the corporate firewall and filtering appliance doesn't and isn't capable of passing the traffic through. And it may very well be comparable to driving your family's car over a cliff with them in it when payday arrives, you need to write that rent check and the paycheck deposit isn't in your checking account and Payroll can't tell you when they'll be able to fix the problem. Note that this isn't theoretical, there've already been problems with Web sites who started providing AAAA records becoming intermittently or permanently inaccessible to people whose machines understand IPv6 but whose ISPs don't yet support it. The software's fully capable of falling back to IPv4 when IPv6 isn't available, but treated the case where IPv6 was available but didn't work as a network failure.

The only possible interpretation of any research whatever in the `social sciences' is: some do, some don't. -- Ernest Rutherford