It has been a continual surprise to me that, with so many things to do, people who work in IPv6 advocacy have spent so much time arguing about the accuracy of IPv4 depletion predictions, and asking why competing estimates didn’t match.
Since two weeks ago, or so, the guessing stopped, and yesterday, a ceremony/press conference was held in Miami, a joint event among ICANN, NRO, AfriNIC, APNIC, ARIN, LACNIC, RIPE-NCC, IANA, and the Internet Society.
So far, ICANN’s summary page is the most complete that I’ve seen:
What happened is this: IANA, the dispenser of all IP addresses, handed out the last of their IPv4 addresses and will dispense no more.
What does this mean? It means that the addresses in the hands of the Regional Internet Registries will be the last that they dispense to end-users, and that alternate means of acquiring addresses will be sought. People who have addresses will do deals with people who need addresses.
I was tempted to scoff when the assertion was made by NRO that address selling will still occur by the guidelines currently used by RIRs, because I had sort of pictured the post-depletion address market as wild west black market kind of thing. But when you think it through, would you give want to give somebody money for addresses which would not be described as belonging to you in the registry? Probably not. At the same time, address rentals will become common too, and they may not need to heed RIR procedures. A brave new world, hopefully not a Huxley-esque.
“Ending is better than mending. The more stitches, the less riches.”
– Aldous Huxley, Brave New World, Ch. 3
or, if you prefer:
“Cleanliness is next to fordliness.”
– Aldous Huxley, Brave New World, Ch. 7