Freeing Up of Hundreds of Millions of IPv4 Addresses Mooted

Work is afoot to free up several internet protocol version 4 (IPv4) address ranges which have been unroutable as reserved, invalid or used for loopback networks since the 1980s. Reader Bismillah shares a report: Seth Schoen, who co-founded the free transport layer security digital certificate provider Let's Encrypt is working on an IPv4 clean-up project that would take address currently not routed on the public Internet, and make them generally usable. Presenting on the IPv4 Unicast Extensions Project at the Asia Pacific Regional Internet Conference on Operational Technologies (APRICOT), Schoen said decisions taken during the 1980s to keep several IPv4 address ranges as "special", has led to a substantial amount of numbering resources going to waste. This "even though the reasons behind the those decisions has not been borne out," Schoen said. Taking the 240/4, 0/8, 127/8, 225/8-232/8 ranges, and making them available as ordinary unicast numbering resources for networks would add some 419 million IPv4 addresses. Due to the rapid growth of the Internet, the number of 32-bit IPv4 addresses has become scarce, with some regional registries being unable to allocate additional blocks to networks. The scarcity has caused IPv4 address hoarding, high prices for sub-allocations and even fraud to get more space.

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