IP address shortage to limit Internet access

The seemingly boundless Internet is running out of a key resource: new IP addresses. The evaporating supply of new addresses – which some estimates say could dry up in about three years – could drive up the price of Internet access as well as disrupt the growth and performance of the network, warn some experts. Worried that opportunists will hoard addresses to speculatively sell them, the organization responsible for handing out addresses in North America announced that it would try to regulate the emerging trade.

This Christian Science Monitor article addresses the looming shortage of IPv4 addresses, the subject of the ARIN statement and media release below as well as an article by Patrik Fältström.

ARIN Confirms IP Address Distribution Practices; Policies Do Not Encourage Profit-driven Speculation [news release]
The American Registry for Internet Numbers Board of Trustees released a statement today that assures ARIN will continue to facilitate the policy development process that defines how Internet Protocol (IP) addresses are distributed in its region, and also reaffirms that ARIN’s policies do not encourage profit-driven speculation in IP addresses.

Statement of ARIN’s Board of Trustees regarding future Internet address policy in the ARIN region
The global Internet requires numeric addresses for the routing of communications traffic. These addresses are necessarily finite in nature and have been defined in two groups. One group, called “Internet Protocol version 4,” or IPv4, was defined in 1979 as a pool of approximately 4,300,000,000 addresses. In anticipation of the Internet growing larger than can be accommodated by the IPv4 pool, a second group, called “Internet Protocol version 6,” or IPv6, was defined in 1995 as a pool of approximately 340,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 addresses, an address space billions upon billions of times larger.

ARIN Statement on the Future of Addressing Policy by Patrik Fältström
ARIN has just released a statement on the future of addressing policy. Specifically addressing the future of IPv4 addressing. What ARIN does is to emphasize the current policies and say they will be enforced even stronger than today if needed. I.e. there is no announcement of a change in policy.