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'No danger' of Internet-address shortage

June 24, 2003

The rumour that Internet addresses will soon run out is untrue, says the man responsible for allocating them in the Asia Pacific region.

The idea that there is an Internet-address shortage looming in Asia or any part of the world is "misinformation", according to a senior executive at the body responsible for distributing and registering Internet-address resources in the Asia Pacific region.

Paul Wilson, director general of APNIC (Asia Pacific Network Information Centre) denies the shortage, saying that it will take one or even two decades before the current address system runs out. 

"The source of the rumour has been one I've been tackling for the last five years, since I started in this position at APNIC. There are a number of reasons why people have this perception," he said. 

APNIC is one of four regional Internet registries currently operating in the world. It provides allocation and registration services which support the operation of the Internet globally. The registry gets blocks of addresses from Internet Assigned Numbers Authority, or IANA in the US, before allocating them to Asia Pacific ISPs and other bodies who ask for them.

Some industry experts have predicted that IP (Internet protocol) addresses will run out in as little as two years as more users connect. The experts also point to the historical imbalance in the way addresses had been issued, with the US grabbing the lion's share, leaving little for the burgeoning Internet masses of China.

The sums just don't add up, said Wilson. 

He said that around five blocks of "slash eight" or /8 addresses are consumed worldwide each year. Each block allows for 16 million host addresses. There are 100 blocks still available in the current IPv4 (IP version 4) system -- enough for 20 years, perhaps fewer when 3G (third-generation) phones take off, but certainly more than the two years predicted by doomsayers, he said.

Details at:,39020369,2136513,00.htm








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