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Europe approaches IPv4 internet address capacity

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© Rex Features

Europe is nearing its capacity of old-style IP addresses, according to the body that issues them in the territory.

Ripe NCC revealed that it is down to its last 16 million IPv4 addresses and will begin selectively handing them out to organisations on application.

Businesses that require a cluster of IPv4s can only make one application and will only be assigned 1,024. They must also provide details on how they are planning to use them.

"Applicants will only get about 1,000 addresses and that's it, and they only get them once and that's the end of it," said Ripe NCC managing director Axel Pawlik.

Approximately 4 million IPv4 were being distributed every 10 days prior to the release of the final batch, BBC News reports.

Around 4.3 billion IP addresses were created as the internet was preparing to launch in the late 1970s, and it was believed that this would be enough. However, the rise of tablets and smartphones has seen the supply rapidly decrease.

Plans are in place to switch over to a new form of ID address dubbed IPv6, a standard which came into effect back in June. IPv6, already adopted by Facebook and Google, allows for an inexhaustible supply of internet addresses.

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