Reaching the last /8
No one could have predicted the growth of the Internet and, when the commercial Internet was in its infancy, the pool of around 4 billion IPv4 addresses seemed huge. IPv4 addresses were in use before the RIRs existed and the introduction of the RIR system helped to regulate the consumption of IPv4 addresses by allocating and assigning Internet number resources based on need.
IANA’s pool of available IPv4 addresses was exhausted on 1 February, 2011, triggering the Global Policy for the Allocation of the Remaining IPv4 Address Space. And, on 3 February, 2011, the five RIRs each received one of the IANA’s five reserved /8 blocks. One /8 is equal to 16.8 million IPv4 addresses and each RIR has community specific policies dealing with how this /8 is distributed within their respective communities.
The RIPE NCC now allocates the IPv4 address space it holds according to section 5.6 of “IPv4 Address Allocation and Assignment Policies for the RIPE NCC Service Region“, which states that RIPE NCC members can request a one time /22 allocation (1,024 IPv4 addresses) if they already have an IPv6 allocation. No new IPv4 Provider Independent (PI) space will be assigned.