The American Registry for Internet Numbers announced today that it has given out the last of its IPv4 addresses. The 4.3 billion possibilities that seemed so bottomless back in the 70s is officially tapped out.
Of course, there are still IPv4 stockpiles out there, just ones that have already been distributed but not used. Some of that is already being traded in one form or another. And there's plenty to recycle too, so it's not as if they're all in use or anything stops working. But when it comes to the free pool managed by ARIN, the story is now about IPv6.
IPv6 traffic has grown steadily in recent years, although it's still tiny relative to the overall internet. Whether or not the final exhaustion of ARIN's IPv4 vault means we see an acceleration in its growth or just a continued steady expansion is an interesting question.
That IPv6 is the future is questioned by almost nobody. But there are still some corners of the internet that have stubbornly refused to implement the necessary changes until absolutely necessary. As the IPv4 neighborhood gets crowded and addresses get harder to come by, sooner or later there will be a rush. Someday.
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