In “Internet Doom” news, RIPE estimates it is within one month of reaching its last /8 IPv4 allocation. As the CTO of an ISP, I regularly deal with overly-large IPv4 assignment requests from customers. You wouldn’t believe how many people think they need a /24 subnet for their Internet cafe. Most of the time this is simple ignorance, but sometimes it’s laziness too; they can’t be bothered to install a NAT-capable router for their PCs. We refuse these requests for the obvious reasons of IPv4 exhaustion, and for the less-obvious reason that you must be insane to leave a horde of pirated, non-patched Windows XP PCs on public IPs. I estimate the mean time to botnet infection to be less than 15 minutes.
This announcement from RIPE isn’t the end, or even the beginning of the end. It’s just one more step in a long, painful process of ignoring the inevitable. IPv4 is going to run out, most people won’t know or care what that means, most providers won’t bother supporting IPv6 until it is far too late, and in the mean time a huge secondary market will appear to fill the gap by “selling” free IPv4 space.
Or, you know, they’ll just steal it.
As always, the IPv4 Address Report remains your best source of IPv4 doom predictions.