In May Yves Poppe wrote:

“May 7th we learned that two /8’s had been allocated to RIPE, the European Regional registry, Rumour has it that APNIC is also getting a couple very soon as well as ARIN. If this materializes only nine ‘slash eights’ will be left to distribute. Depletion clocks are being adjusted; today May 12th Potaroo predicts September 9th 2011 to be the fatidic day for IANA depletion and that on April 8th 2012 the ultimate surviving little block living in liberty will be allocated.”

Today I can write:

November 30th we learned that two /8’s had been allocated to RIPE and two to ARIN, two are left in the free pool. Rumour has it that they are spoken for by APNIC and that they are waiting for January to claim them. If this materializes nothing will be left in IANA’s free pool to distribute. Depletion clocks are being adjusted again; today December 11tth, Potaroo predicts February 23th 2011 to be the fatidic day for IANA depletion and that on November 23th 2011 the ultimate surviving little block living in liberty will be allocated.

As rumours tend to be more accurate than predictions, the last /8’s are hanging already on this years Christmas tree and one should hurry to get hold of a small little RIR block to put on next year’s tree.

I will miss the decade of heated and passionate debates between Tony Hain and Geoff Huston on when the exhaustion would actually happen. Estimates ranged all the way from 2008 to 2020 with Tony predicting early demise of IPv4 addresses while Geoff initially thought exhaustion would come later. As time passed the interval converged and here we are.

Many ISP’s and corporations watched the clock tick and tick and felt they had all the time in the world. They might have been right for some time but at midnight they might find themselves turned into IPumpkins.

Some still persist in the thinking that, using some clever artifacts, the inevitable can be delayed maybe even indefinitely. Although improbable, it is not impossible. The beauty of the future is its many possible outcomes.

Did I have a plan B if IPv6 would not happen? Yes indeed, it is called dual stack. Our AS6453 global tier1 IP network is totally dual stack as for the last five years every traffic and business growth driven upgrade and expansion has mandated IPv4 and IPv6 support. This made the actual exhaustion date an invariable even under the extreme scenario that IPv6 would never have happened. Indeed, our IP transit revenue is just that, IP revenue, v4 plus v6 flavours independently of their proportion.

With the end of the exhaustion clock business, a traffic mix clock would be an interesting and entertaining little tool. When will IPv6 represent 10, 20, 50, 88, 99% of total IP traffic? Make your predictions and let us start some rumours.

I just read that Free in France is about to announce a new ‘freebox’ some name ‘la v6’. Considering that they have the worlds biggest number of IPv6 enabled end users, IPv6 traffic will grow faster than we would have projected yesterday. Interesting to note that the write-up also refers to VoIP rumours; VoIPv6 ?

Happy New Year!

Written by Yves Poppe, Director, Business Development IP Strategy at Tata Communications