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Europe Hits Old Internet Address Limits

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Ripe NCC, the governing body that hands out addresses to European Internet service providers and other organizations, has started strict rationing of Internet Protocol version 4 (IPv4) addresses, and is allowing companies to make just one more application for iPv4 address.

If successful, those companies will only get 1,024 IPv4 addresses. In addition, any application for more IPv4 addresses must demonstrate how an organization plans on using the new IPv6 replacement addressing scheme.

The rapid growth of the Internet and the popularity of the Web have exhausted IPv4's pool of 4.3 billion IP addresses. Ripe officials note that IPv6 has an effectively inexhaustible supply of addresses. As of Sept. 14, Ripe NCC was down to its last 16 million IPv4 addresses. "The day has come, finally," says Ripe NCC's Axel Pawlik.

He notes that various technical workarounds to share IPv4 addresses among many different devices would become increasingly unworkable. "They are complicated, potentially unstable, and expensive," Pawlik says. "The other route they could go is to v6 as it's in most of the Net equipment now."

From BBC News 
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