On November 25th, 2019 at 3:35 p.m., the RIPE NCC made its last IPv4 /22 allocation. The organization is now short of IPv4 addresses. An announcement that comes as no surprise to network operators: the RIPE community has long anticipated and planned the exhaustion of IPv4. Indeed, the RIPE NCC has been able to provide thousands of new networks with /22 allocations through responsible management of these resources by the community.
Even if there are no more IPv4 addresses, RIPE NCC will continue to retrieve them. These will come from organizations that have ceased operations or closed, or from networks sending back addresses that they no longer need. These addresses will be assigned to members (LIR) based on their position on a new waiting list that is now active. Only LIRs who have never received an IPv4 allocation from the RIPE NCC can request addresses on the waiting list, and they can only receive one allocation /24. However, these small amounts of recovered addresses will not be close to the millions of addresses that networks need today.
This event is another step towards the global exhaustion of the remaining IPv4 address space. The emergence of an IPv4 transfer market and the increased use of Carrier Grade Network Address Translation (CGNAT) in recent years does not solve the underlying problem: there are not enough IPv4 addresses for everyone.
Without large-scale IPv6 deployment, there is a risk of moving towards a future where the growth of the Internet will be unnecessarily limited due to a shortage of unique network identifiers. There is still a long way to go, and RIPE NCC calls on all stakeholders to play their part in supporting IPv6 deployment.
Source : RIPE NCC