Trying to find an article that isn’t completely hyped up and sensationalised like I know a lot of newspapers like to do.

PNIC, which provides internet addressing services to the Asia Pacific region, received two /8s (33 million addresses) on Tuesday in a move that triggered the immediate distribution of the last five /8s to Regional Internet Registries. ISPs and businesses are rapidly burning through any IPv4 addresses APNIC makes available, so organisations in the region are expected to be among the first to feel the effects of IPv4 exhaustion.

The organisation tracking the allocation of IPv4 declared 1 February X-Day (exhaustion day), conjuring images of Mad Max-style battles over the last remaining supplies of gasoline IPv4 addresses.

In reality, the exhaustion of IPv4 has long been predicted but has remained a distant prospect until recently thanks to the use of Network Address Translation (NAT) technology, which meant banks of corporate PCs all sat behind small ranges of IP addresses. Many units of internet real estate are still sparsely used, with only around 14 per cent actually been utilised, according to a study by the University of Southern California, published on Tuesday.

No real immediate dangers:

APNIC expects normal allocations to continue for a further three to six months. After this time, APNIC will continue to make small allocations from the last /8 block, guided by section 9.10 in “Policies for IPv4 address space management in the Asia Pacific region”. This policy ensures that IPv4 address space is available for IPv6 transition.

It is expected that these allocations will continue for at least another five years.

APNIC reiterates that IPv6 is the only means available for the sustained ongoing growth of the Internet, and urges all Members of the Internet industry to move quickly towards its deployment.

Luckily Australia will (assuming the opposition don’t get their way) be among the first to have a very high IPv6 penetration ratio thanks to the NBN!

New Internet users will be assigned two types of Internet addresses in a dual stack mode, the ISP said.

Major router vendors have been using the ISP’s IPv6 service to test their software for real-world application, according to Internode.

“Internode is IPv6-enabling every aspect of its operations progressively during 2011 from its web and mail servers to the routers that it sells to customers,” the ISP said in a statement. “Every aspect of this chain of connections at Internode will support IPv6.”

So what does this all mean? Nothing really… it’s comparable to going from firefox 3.8 to 4.0, some people are playing with the beta, some people will get it shortly after release, and some people will get it years later, but eventually everyone who needs it will get it.