The Number Resource Organisation (NRO) has warned of a "chaotic scramble" for IPv6 addresses as the world's IPv4 addresses are almost depleted.
A total of 200 million IPv4 addresses have been assigned since IPv4 addresses space dipped below 10% in January this year, reported the NRO. Less than 5% of the world's IPv4 addresses remain unallocated.
"According to current depletion rates, the last five IPv4 address blocks will be allocated to the regional internet registries (RIRs) in early 2011. The pressure to adopt IPv6 is mounting. Many worry that without adequate preparation and action, there will be a chaotic scramble for IPv6, which could increase internet costs and threaten the stability and security of the global network," said the NRO in a statement.
The five RIRs are expected to distribute more than 2,000 IPv6 address blocks in 2010 - an increase of over 70% of IPv6 allocations in 2009.
The final five blocks of IPv4 addresses will be distributed simultaneously to the five RIRs, leaving only seven blocks to be handed out under the normal distribution method, said the NRO.
Axel Pawlik, chairman of the Number Resource Organisation (NRO) and a representative of the five RIRs, said it is "critical" for internet stakeholders to take action to ensure "timely adoption" of IPv6.
A survey last month found one in six companies has no plans to move to the new IPv6 internet addressing scheme, which could leave them with expansion problems when the world runs out of IPv4 addresses next year.