[At-Large] They're out of IPv4 Addresses!

Salanieta T. Tamanikaiwaimaro salanieta.tamanikaiwaimaro at gmail.com
Sat Sep 15 19:21:50 UTC 2012

Snip the whole thing always brings me back to that Y2K jingle.

I would disagree and here's why.

As I write this email, the world's population according to the Population
Reference Bureau is  7,087,683,026 as at 6:18am Sunday morning on 16th
September, 2012. The World Mortality Report of 2011 rates (produced by the
Department of  Economic Social Affairs by its Population division) shows
that over time the mortality rates have generally gone down although there
are still wide disparities in levels of mortality across regions. See:

*End Users*
Whilst there are 7 billion people on the planet, the World Internet
Statistics (IWS) suggest that there are 2,267,233,742 internet users as at
December, 31, 2011. See: http://www.internetworldstats.com/stats.htm.

These users distributed would be something like this:-
AFRALO region - 6.2%
APRALO region - 49%
EURALO region - 22.1%
LACRALO region - 10.4%
NARALO region - 12%

*Can current supply meet demand?*
As the push for Universal Service continues to grow as we have seen from
recent trends in ICT development, liberalisation of markets, competition,
it is generally expected that the end users will grow. There already is a
demand on Internet Address allocations based on consumption. The pull on
address spaces is also linked to "consumerism". The innovations in science
and technology have brought us smart phones, smart computers, smart
refrigerators, smart homes, smart cars means that there is a "level of
demand" coming from the globe on a "finite pool of resources". We see
trends where as Innovations increase eg. Applications (App) and a single
phone can have an average of 5 Apps. Internet Traffic is definitely growing
because of many reasons, the desire to communicate, content driven
applications being some of the reasons. Whether it is an  entrepreneur away
on a business trip can with a few strokes be able to check procurement of
goods, what's in the cash register etc or a Surgeon performing remote tests
and/or surgery, one thing is certain, consumption of the Internet will
continue to grow.

So the issue becomes, can "Supply meet demand"? Maybe and only for a little
while. There are Network Address Translators (NATs) that can only do so
much for a little while but all it is really at the end of the day is
buying time and waiting for the inevitable which is the pool of IPv4
resources will run out.

*The growth in global demand to communicate implies the need for transition*
For as long as the assumption is true that internet usage will grow there
will be a strain on the address allocation. There are variables that affect
demographics droughts, tsunamis, global food crisis, water scarcity,
climate change, migration, conflicts and wars that affect demographics but
a steward and in this case RIPE NCC will try to ensure that there is
sufficient preparation that existing resources are conserved within reason
and at the same time encourage transition.

The threat aside from running out of internet addresses on the IPv4 front
is the ability for Networks not to be able to communicate. The IPv4 Network
cannot communicate with the IPv6 and there are ways to address these where
network owners can elect to opt for which ever methods of transition suits

Fortunately, the good news is that to be able to account for the current
and future demands on address space allocations, the IPv6 address
allocations were designed to enable seamless communication. So the only
challenge now is organising IPv4 to IPv6 transition. The key word is a
transition. As for end users there are many things that we can do as
ordinary end users to help prepare for the transition but that is for
another time.

Whilst some may say, that it's just vendors trying to sell their wares. The
reality is that vendors will always try to sell their wares and you can
help keep them accountable by getting your region and network providers to
publish feedback on their wares See:

Best Regards,

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