Are IPv4 addresses depleted?
The central pool of available IPv4 (Internet Protocol Version 4) addresses by the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) is lowering or depleting. The majority of the 4.29 billion IP addresses have already been assigned or reserved to corporations or institutions. We are in the technology age where just about everything we do, relies on the internet. Just about everything we take part in, needs an IP address (Internet Protocol Address). The internet has grown and surpassed a population of 6 billion internet users of not only one, but multiple internet capable devices in our everyday life.
The good news is, just because the free IPv4 addresses are depleted, that does not mean all addresses have run out. Many institutions bought IPv4 addresses to use for a rainy day. However, many of those same companies, are now selling those unused addresses. Because corporations are selling back or trading them, this frees up many for institutions not interested in switching to IPv6.
Three ways that can free up addresses on the waiting list:
- Redistribution of Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA)– Requires IANA to allocate equal shares to each of the five RIRs of total recovered addresses twice a year to fill the IPV4 waiting list. Recovered space is posted
- IPv4 Blocks Returned – Organizations return unused IPv4 blocks. The returned space is then available to redistribute to the waiting list.
- Revoked IPv4 Blocks – When organizations do not comply with terms and conditions, it often results in a revoked IPv4 block. The block is then back on the available waiting list.
Why are companies not switching to IPv6?
Even though the prediction warning of IPv4 depletion was years ago, many companies have drug their feet to make the adaption. The progress is slow to switch over to the new protocol because for the most part it is costly, and many routers and servers do not support IPv6 as of yet. IPv4 dominates most of the Internet traffic, and IPv6 is not compatible with many firewalls, routers, switches and would require upgrades to many organizations IP infrastructure.
American Registry for Internet Numbers (ARIN) has a waiting list that organizations can get on to wait for IPv4 addresses to become available. However, because many other agencies are selling off their IPv4 addresses, buying addresses on the open market is an option.
IPv4 broker matching services
Regardless of whether you need to release or buy an address, ARIN has a Specified Transfer List Service (STLS). This service matches pre-approved organizations that want to release their address space to pre-approved organizations wishing to receive or buy addresses. Matching services is a great way verification solution for transfer completions.
Broker services can also register through STLS as a facilitator to complete transfers. IPv4 brokers specialize in connecting buyers and sellers to a supply of address space. Most brokers have access to an ample supply of IPv4 addresses that gives organizations a variety of choices to extend and support their existing network and to gear up to migration and deployment to IPv6.
While it is possible to buy IPv4 addresses alone, finding, buying, and closing transactions can be complex. Brokers generally have the knowledge and are current with the nuances and governance policies that affect market transactions.
Buying and selling Ipv4 addresses are a lot like an acquisition or merger, and the terms and conditions may be a bit confusing for someone not experienced, hiring a broker is often the best course of action.
If the depletion of IPv4 has you a bit worried an IPv4 broker can help in your transition to help you feel confident that the transaction will be a smooth success.