Network World reports that “unprecedented levels of broadband adoption in the Asia-Pacific region” is depleting the free pool of IPv4 addresses faster than anticipated. It also states that “The acceleration of IPv4 address depletion is putting more pressure on network operators to migrate to IPv6, the long-anticipated upgrade to IPv4, the Internet's main communications protocol.” Both statements are questionable.

True, there is strong evidence of acceleration in the rate of IPv4 depletion. But it may not be accurate to portray this as a product of some sudden, unrelated trend toward broadband adoption in a specific region. It may, in fact, be the beginning phases in the enactment of a tragedy of the commons. As we near IPv4 depletion, it makes sense for users and the RIRs both to build up stockpiles of IPv4 address blocks before they are claimed by other regions. The Asia-Pacific region contains large developing economies (China, India, etc.) that are historically underserved in terms of address resource occupation. As the pool of ipv4 addresses drains down, it would make perfect sense for APNIC to claim as many resources as it possibly good, and to deliver more to their restive members. That could trigger similar, reactive moves by other RIRs. If this is true, give the first-mover advantage to APNIC and look for acceleration from other regions.

And when it comes to IPv6 adoption, the article repeats the tired and increasingly questionable view that ipv4 depletion will automatically push everyone into IPv6 migration. In fact, a sudden acceleration of demand for IPv4 is not consistent with the article's claim that we are on our way to IPv6. It indicates almost exactly the opposite. If serious efforts to switch to ipv6 were in play at this time, there would be no tendency for RIRs or users to grab as many v4 addresses as possible in the short term. They would, instead, view the depletion as a fait accompli and would be implementing plans that would decrease their need for IPv4 addresses. The sudden attempt to grab as many ipv4 addresses as possible indicates that companies either are not ready to, or are not interested in, staking their internet presence on ipv6.

14 thoughts on “Sobering thoughts about IPv4 address depletion

  1. Compare IPv4 (New York City Land) to IPv6 (Montana Land)
    Are New Yorkers going to rush to move to Montana ?
    Is Donald Trump going to grab every vacant lot he can ?
    Will New York buildings with more than one floor emerge ? Is New York City out of space ?
    Will shrewd New Yorkers try to dupe people into moving to Montana ?

  2. Are you “Sober” ? for “Sobering thoughts”
    Ask yourself, “Why would the CEO of ICANN state
    with such certainty that '.NET is a Dead TLD' ??”
    What is the hidden/secret plan for .NET ?
    Do the ICANN/DHS Spooks plan to re-cast .NET as some sort of Licensed ISP TLD ? ala the SS7 out-of-band telco network ?
    What would companies do that have ONLY a .NET domain ? Are there many of those ? Would ICANN like to see some of those go away ?

  3. One year ago…
    the new ICANN CEO appeared from nowhere
    he arrived from the U.S. DHS
    was then flown to Sweden for his intense ISOC
    training prior to his IETF meeting with all the
    right people [Strange, the same thing happened
    with Mike Roberts and Esther Dyson]
    After Sweden, the ICANN CEO began pledging
    allegiance to all things ISOC
    If the ICANN CEO says to move to IPv6 do you move ? for a TLD ?

  4. The .NET insiders would of course have their own
    *Flavor* of IPv4 and IPv6
    That would free up all sorts of IPv4 address space
    including DOD space
    .NET is dead – Uh Huh

  5. The .NET insiders would of course have their own
    *Flavor* of IPv4 and IPv6
    That would free up all sorts of IPv4 address space
    including DOD space
    .NET is dead – Uh Huh

  6. Vinton Cerf now on Video on ICANN Front Page
    Get your hip-boots on, it is really deep .BS
    Looks like some 1970s sci-fi B movie – with 1970s technology – they need an ending with a NIKE missile being launched
    Did Esther get her red phone yet ? next to her bed for “that call at 3:00am that someone has to answer” ?

  7. That caveman with the chisel and the stone tablets is really a nice touch. Apparently, he is flown in from one of the ISOC projects in equatorial Africa.
    Apparently, it takes him a month to chisel that crypto key into stone, and then they start all over again.
    The tablets are then flown to Egypt where they are stored in the pyramids for the .NET .GODs to pick up. They magically disappear as tourists visit.

  8. Bring your Sock Puppets to Brussels and learn how
    the right hand one talks to the left hand one and
    says exactly what you want, and writes you a letter.
    Fun !! Fun !!

  9. Reading the Tea Leaves
    There is only one likely option that will trump ISOC
    and ICANN – The US FCC
    It would be a feather in the FCC's cap to FREE the
    USA from the artificial scarcity IANA policies.
    ICANN and the RIRs would likely not care because
    they have decades of reserve funds to allow them
    to retire in their own island nations.
    The TelcoCableWIMAX crowd would likely welcome the efficiencies and fairness the FCC would bring.
    The smart money in the USA will likely be on the FCC. NTIA has been co-opted by ICANN.

  10. A review of the audio-video-document transcripts of the Accountability Review Team confirms the .USA FCC option.
    ART completely misses discussions about MONEY
    ART is dominated by .ORG (ISOC Affilias) and appears to be a sugar coating operation.
    NTIA (Larry Strickling) is impressive but co-opted
    One has to wonder how a “governance system” can develop that pays Denise Michels four? times what Larry Strickling is paid.
    ICANN is all about money and incumbents protecting their cash cows, that is not a benefit to the public.

  11. NANOG and NewNOG Automating IANA Functions
    ICANN never spent much time or money on the IANA technology or automation.
    As NewNog absorbs NANOG, ARIN and IANA they will be more focused on technology and automation.
    The NANOG mail list is already being used as a place where vacant IPv4 address space is being mined.

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