For better or worse this really is a momentous moment for the internet. The full letter from the IETF Chair is as follows (copied for posterity):
You have probably already heard the news, but just to make sure no one is left out of the loop, I am posting this note.
The last five /8 IPv4 address blocks were assigned today.
Two /8s were recently allocated to APNIC, which triggered the implementation of the Exhaustion Phase set out in the Global Policy for the Allocation of the Remaining IPv4 Address Space. Today in Miami, Florida in a very nice ceremony, this policy was implemented, and each RIR received one of the final /8 address blocks. As of now, there are no more unallocated IPv4 unicast /8s in the IANA pool. The current status of the IPv4 address space can be seen in the IANA IPv4 Address Space Registry at:
We have all known that this day was coming for a long time. In preparation, the IETF developed IPv6. IPv6 is ready, and it has been ready for a long time. This milestone simply increases the urgency for IPv6 deployment. The explosive growth of the Internet can only continue with the bigger address space offered by IPv6.
The depletion of the IANA IPv4 address pool is not a crisis. Next week the Internet will not be significantly different that it was a week ago. There will not be any notable short-term effects caused by the empty IANA IPv4 address pool.
There is no crisis, but there is a need for action so that the Internet can continue to grow. The transition to IPv6 requires the attention of many actors. However, our parents, spouses, and children will be largely unaware of the transition. They will continue to be amazed of the endless possibilities offered by the growing Internet. For them, this milestone will remain insignificant.
To the universal deployment of IPv6,
Who knew we’d eventually run out (Vint Cerf says himself he never imagined how much would be needed). It’s crazy when you think about it. It’s important however to remember however that the distribution is hardly efficient and lots of companies own way more IPv4 space than they will ever actually use.
I’ve pretty much gotten through my software stack IPv6 wise, but have yet to begun network and configuration to support it. Hopefully soon enough I’ll have everything running dual stack.