Scarcity triggers new restrictions on obtaining Internet addresses

by Rachel Baker on April 24, 2014

I’m not entirely sure what this truly means; and I’m not sure if it really affects all that many average people; and further, I’m not sure if its something that the average user will even notice…but I do think its important to be informed and to at least have seen the story and know a little something about it, in case we start hearing a lot more about it.

So, go…be informed.

The Internet runs atop a standard called Internet Protocol version 4 (IPv4), and every device using the Internet needs an IPv4 address. Those addresses are running out, though, and the authority that doles out IPv4 addresses just entered a new, more restrictive phase for those who need them.

This doesn’t affect the average person, but it does affect Internet service providers, businesses that want to launch new online services, and Internet registrar companies that set up new domain names for customers.

“We are approaching runout of IPv4 space availability in this region,” said John Curran, president of American Registry for Internet Numbers (ARIN), in a mailing list announcement Wednesday. ARIN is down to its last 16.7 million addresses — down from twice that number last August.

Accordingly, it began new restrictions in the US and Canada as part of phase 4 of its IPv4 countdown. Those wanting any blocks of IP addresses now need the approval of ARIN reviewers. (There are four other registries around the world that allocate IPv4 addresses for other regions.)

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