APNIC (Asia Pacific), RIPE NCC (Europe and Middle East) and LACNIC (Latin America and Caribbean) and now ARIN (USA, Canada and certain Caribbean islands) have all exhausted their allocation of IPv4 addresses.
“ARIN’s announcement does not mean the Internet will stop working, nor stop growing," said APNIC director-general Paul Wilson.
"What it does mean is that Internet businesses globally need to continue the move to the next generation of Internet addressing, IPv6, because the demand for Internet addresses is not going to cease."
IPv4's limitations are overcome to some extent by using NAT (network address translation) that allows multiple devices on a local network such as the one in your home or office to share the single public IP address allocated to the router.
"Rather than investing in technology to help extend the life of IPv4, organisations in the Asia Pacific must turn their investments towards the transition to IPv6 in earnest," said Wilson.
"The good news is that costs can be minimised by planning ahead, for instance by ensuring IPv6 capabilities are gained within the normal hardware and software upgrade cycles."
IPv6 currently accounts for just 7% of internet traffic. Internode, now part of iiNet, was one of the first Australian ISPs to provide full IPv6 connectivity.
Recent versions of Windows, OS X, Linux, Android and iOS all support IPv6, but many of the modems and routers installed in homes and small businesses are IPv4 only.
"Now is the time to be asking those who provide you with Internet services and expertise – whether they are ISPs, vendors, data centres, developers, staff or consultants – how they will support IPv6 services for you in future," said Wilson.