African Internet addresses to run out in March 2020

South Africa’s Internet Service Providers’ Association (ISPA) has released a statement highlighting that Africa is projected to run out of IPv4 addresses in March 2020.

According to ISPA, there is no alternative for South Africa but to adopt IPv6 addresses across the board if the country wants to benefit from technological advances including 5G, IoT, and smart cities.

Figures published by Google show that South Africa’s IPv6 adoption currently sits at just 0.4% – much lower than other African nations such as Zimbabwe (6.01%) and Gabon (14.38%), and the global average of 29.44%.

“IPv6 compliance needs to come out of the basement and into the light so that it can be made SA’s Internet issue of the day until it is resolved,” said ISPA Chair André van der Walt.

IPv4 addresses have already run out in every global region except Africa, said ISPA, and service providers that don’t support IPv6 are potentially threatening the country’s participation in the fourth industrial revolution (4IR).

ISPA said it has facilitated the rollout of IPv6 by providing a VLAN at the Johannesburg Internet Exchange (JINX) to facilitate testing for ISPs.

The entity also said that it will continue communicating with ICASA to ensure that IPv6 is adopted efficiently.

IPv4 exhaustion

AFRINIC published a press release on 16 October highlighting that it has 3.9 million 32-bit IPv4 addresses left, and is 1.85 million 32-bit addresses away from the implementation of phase 2 of IPv4 exhaustion.

This means that phase 2 is expected to be reached before the end of 2019.

AFRINIC has also outlined its approach to phase 2 of IPv4 exhaustion, which will see most current IPv4 policies remain. However, the following changes will be applied:

  • Minimum IPv4 Allocation or Assignment shall be 24-bit.
  • Maximum IPv4 Allocation or Assignment shall be 22-bit.
  • No explicit limit on the number of times an organisation may request additional IPv4 space.
  • Allocation/Assignment period (planning window) is eight months.
  • Existing Resource Members are eligible to get additional blocks if 90% efficient usage of all resources has been demonstrated.
  • Use of AFRINIC IPv4 resources outside the AFRINIC service region should be solely in support of connectivity back to the AFRINIC region.

AFRINIC has urged its members to ensure that they are compliant with all contractual obligations checks.

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African Internet addresses to run out in March 2020