New IP

A Jaded Journalist Views IPv4 News

Wait, what? We ran out of IPv4 addresses in North America? Really?

Gosh, who saw that one coming?

At some point today, the long-predicted depletion of IPv4 32-bit addresses finally hit here in North America, after it already happened everywhere else on the globe, other than Africa. So what has been an excruciatingly slow ramp-up of IPv6 -- from the standpoint of its advocates, that is -- is finally getting a kick in the pants.


I mean, let's face it, people like me have spent years interviewing people like this guy:

That's John Curran, president and CEO of the American Registry for Internet Numbers (ARIN) , and the man who made today's long-awaited announcement. And yeah, I've talked to him and others on this topic for years. (See LR Live: The Real Rationale for IPv6, You Won't Find IPv4 Numbers on eBay and Report: Most ISPs Are IPv6 Ready.)

He's also been featured in probably hundreds of news stories, reminding folks there aren't enough IPv4 addresses left to handle the explosion of Internet traffic and the coming of the Internet of Things. Curran was actually saying all this for seven or eight years before we started calling it the Internet of Things.

So with no more IPv4 numbers to be had -- finally -- what changes in the world of the Internet?

Hmm, well, nothing really. At least I don't think so. Except maybe the people who weren't taking seriously the decade of warnings to prepare for IPv6 might actually put that at the top of their "to-do" list. And probably there will be a spate of articles, webinars and maybe even conferences all about how you handle the transition to IPv6, and whether you do the quick-and-dirty approach or invest in something more elegant. (See The Ugly Side of IPv6: Carrier-Grade NAT and IPv4 vs. IPv6 in the New IP.)

I don't mean to deride webinars and conferences on IPv6. We did one of our own… back in 2011. The photographic proof is here and if you click through enough photos, there's even one of me for some silly reason, with a very silly caption.

But if you've waited until now to take this shift in IP addresses seriously, you are going to need something more than a webinar to get going. And sorry about that, but hey, you can't say we didn't warn you. (See What Happens if You're IPv4 Only and Inertia: The Silent IPv6 Killer.)

— Carol Wilson, Editor-at-Large, Light Reading

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Susan Fourtané 9/30/2015 | 9:02:40 AM
Re: IPv6 ready Joe, I am not saying they are not. They are just doing it a little slower. -Susan
Joe Stanganelli 9/29/2015 | 6:25:35 PM
Re: Something else will pay for the old modems to be eventually swapped out. There have also been legitimate security concerns about IPv6 in that time, with some refusing to make the upgrade for thos reasons, so it is at least a bit unfair to turn this into a blame game.
Joe Stanganelli 9/29/2015 | 6:24:04 PM
Re: IPv6 ready In the past few years, both the US and China have also made great strides in IPv6 readiness.  The federal government got its act together a couple of years ago after several years of delays.
Joe Stanganelli 9/29/2015 | 6:22:42 PM
What, again? Didn't we also run out of IPv4 addresses four and a half years ago?
KBode 9/27/2015 | 10:12:28 AM
Re: Ok, So..... Which makes it all the more shocking that a large chunk of the country's biggest ISPs are way, way behind the curve!
Susan Fourtané 9/27/2015 | 5:05:12 AM
Re: IPv6 ready  Indeed, Mike! Or joined the dinosaurs. :D 

MikeP688 9/26/2015 | 10:02:49 PM
Re: IPv6 ready ...and history has truly shown that those who have not embraced the vision have been relegated to the dustbin of history.    Those who are @ the pinnacle now need to guard against this.
rossc_ie 9/26/2015 | 4:43:46 PM
Something else will pay for the old modems to be eventually swapped out. People have been banging on about IPv6 for the last 20 years but for about the last 18 of those it was likely that the network operator didn't have the hardware & software to support it. It really only got moving in 2011 when IANA exhausted its final /8s.

The deployment glacier is accelerating.

All four mobile operators in the US support it now as do the major wireline residential networks. Android and iOS supports it. More home routers support it.

Avoiding RFC1918 exhaustion, bypassing CGNAT, VoLTE, easier device management, and being ready for the future are driving deployments.

It is sad that it has been such a struggle to do the right thing. It seems almost no one cares about the IP network layer.




Susan Fourtané 9/26/2015 | 12:57:33 PM
Re: IPv6 ready What happens, Mike, is that if you are a service provider with a vision there is no other alternative than thinking ahead, especially when building new networks.  

MikeP688 9/26/2015 | 12:34:26 PM
Re: IPv4 depletion We have to make sure we create and push the "culture of care".     What we do here, in my view, is part of this--not an easy path for sure.   However, it is a journey worth taking not withstanding all the bumps along the road.
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