The Internet on Thursday officially ran out of the IP4 addresses.
Blame surging Web traffic in Asia and the worldwide proliferation of smartphones.
The Internet Assigned Numbers Authority, the top-level administrator of the system, distributed its last batches of Internet Protocol, or IP, addresses Thursday to regional registries, which will make them available to service providers, websites and others. That supply should run out in six or nine months, said John Curran, CEO of the American Registry for Internet Numbers, or ARIN, the regional group covering the United States, Canada and the Caribbean.
Websites and service providers have been experimenting with IPv6 But many have been slow to do so because of a lack of immediate benefits. The exhaustion of IP addresses at the top level puts pressure on them to move more quickly.
Curran said only about 2 percent of websites support it. However, many of those are the most-visited sites on the Internet, including Google and Facebook. He expects smaller sites to scramble for IPv6 addresses now.