Your IP address is

IPv4 Exhaustion


Current Phase of IPv4 Exhaustion

Phase : Phase 1


Phases of IPv4 Exhaustion

In 2011, the AFRINIC community approved the IPv4 Soft Landing policy to deal with the exhaustion of AFRINIC's IPv4 address space. The policy outlines the following phases of exhaustion:


Phase Description
Current AFRINIC has IPv4 address space available in its free pool. It can assign IPv4 address space to its members according to justified need as documented in the current policy.
Phase 1 AFRINIC will enter Phase 1 when an otherwise valid request for IPv4 address space from any LIR or end user to AFRINIC either:
(a) cannot be fulfilled with the IPv4 address space available in the AFRINIC pool (with the exception of the final /8), or
(b) can be fulfilled, but would leave the the AFRINIC IPv4 address pool empty (with the exception of the final /8).
Phase 2 Phase 2 begins when AFRINIC has no more than one /11 of non-reserved IPv4 space available in the final /8.


Find a detailed overview of the Exhaustion Phases here.


IPv4 Exhaustion Statistics

An overview of AFRINIC's IPv4 allocations can be found here. This data is updated daily.


Deploy IPv6 Now

Africa has one of the world’s highest rates of mobile Internet users and a huge population of future Internet users waiting to get online. More and more IP addresses will be needed to facilitate Internet access across the region. As AFRINIC's supply of IPv4 address space continues to dwindle, new connections will increasingly be made over IPv6 as opposed to IPv4, especially in those regions where IPv4 address space has already been exhausted.

By design, computers using IPv4 and IPv6 cannot communicate directly with each other. Devices connecting to the Internet with only an IPv4 address cannot communicate with devices that are connecting with only an IPv6 address. In order to ensure that networks continue to run seamlessly and all devices around the world can continue to communicate with each other, IPv6 must be deployed in parallel with IPv4. This means that IPv4 and IPv6 will coexist and be operated in parallel for the time it takes to fully deploy IPv6 on a global scale. It is now becoming imperative that African network operators also start the transition to IPv6 as soon as possible to ensure they can continue communicating with IPv4 and IPv6 networks in other regions. This is the only way to guarantee that all Internet users will be able to freely access the global Internet from Africa and to ensure that Africa remains a global player in online world.


IPv4 Transfer

IPv4 address transfers are permitted within AFRINIC's service region as per the IPv4 Intra-RIR transfer policy (Section 5.7 of the Consolidated Policy Manual) and Mergers and Acquisitions guidelines.


IPv6 Support, Training and Information for Africa

AFRINIC has been leading efforts in the region to promote and support IPv6 deployment since 2005 through outreach, education, free training courses and provision of an IPv6 test bed. Find out more about IPv6 and what you can do to kick-start your IPv6 deployment plans:


IPv6 for Governments

Find out how to get your country’s IPv6 deployment plans moving. Read our comprehensive document; IPv6 for Governments: A guide to IPv6 deployment. You can also get involved with the AFRINIC Government Working Group (AfGWG). The AfGWG ensures that African governments are involved at every level in Internet governance and policy matters, and can interact with the Internet technical community particularly when it comes to the management of Internet number resources.


Background and Information

In February 2011, the IANA (now known as Public Technical Identifiers - PTI)  allocated two large blocks of IPv4 address space to APNIC, causing the global IPv4 pool to deplete to a critically low level. This triggered the "Global Policy for the Allocation of the Remaining IPv4 Address Space". Each RIR then received one /8 each, which is around 16.8 million IPv4 addresses, depleting IANA's pool of available IPv4 address space and setting the ball rolling for global IPv4 exhaustion.

As of 24 September 2015, four of the five RIRs -  APNICARINLACNIC and the RIPE NCC - have exhausted their free pools of IPv4 and are already allocating IPv4 address space from the final /8 they received from the IANA. IPv4 address space that is being allocated from the last /8 is distributed according to special regional policies developed by each RIR community.

Organisations that are members of these four RIRs are unable to obtain large amounts of IPv4 address space to cover their actual needs. They can obtain a one-time small allocation to ensure network continuity while deploying IPv6 networks. Existing and emerging networks in these regions face scalability issues unless they deploy IPv6 in order to ensure long-term network growth and global connectivity.


On 16 January 2017, AFRINIC announced that it is approaching Stage 1 of its IPv4 Exhaustion process.


More Information: 

Related News Items: