The five top-level IP Registrars (ARIN, RIPE, APNIC, LACNIC, AFRINIC) manage tens of million IPV4 and IPV6 addresses, assigning them to networks around the world. These addresses are key to accessing the Internet for all end-users.
About once a year, I generate the statistics out of the IP address database I maintain. The last one was published back in August 2007,Â and, as can be imagined, there have been substantial changes that have occurred in the last 12 months.
At the country level, there has been a substantial change in the top five as China has superseded Japan in the total number of IPV4 addresses. In fact, in the last 12 months, Japan has seen a net loss in the total number of allocated IPV4 addresses.
|KOREA, REPUBLIC OF||631||66108928|
|TAIWAN, PROVINCE OF CHINA||410||23842816|
|UNITED ARAB EMIRATES||23||2278656|
|IRAN, ISLAMIC REPUBLIC OF||94||1588224|
The adjustment in China is completely expected, as China has substantial room to expand its IPV4 population, compared to a country such as Japan which is likely approaching saturation in this area.
In the total number of IPV4 addresses assigned by registrar, ARIN (US, Canada, and parts of the Caribbean) still has a substantially larger population than the other regions. However, this region only grew by 3 million IPV4 addresses in the last 12 months, compared to 42 million for RIPE (Europe and the Middle East), and 74 million for APNIC (Asia-Pacific). LACNIC (Mexico, Latin and South America) grew by 13 million IPV4 addresses and AFRINIC (Africa) by 4 million.
Some of this growth in APNIC, AFRINIC, and LACNIC can be attributed to adjustments in the Registry structure itself. Now that there are five registrars with responsibility for a clearly defined set of nations, a number of adjustments have had to occur in the registrar of record for IPV4 ranges.
In the past, for nations that were not explicitly covered by a regional registrar, the IPV4 range may have been assigned by the registrar now responsible for the region, most likely ARIN or RIPE.
Now that there are registrars specifically designated to cover these formerly grey areas, these historical artifacts are being corrected as registry information is renewed.
However, this cannot directly account for the noticeable growth in AFRINIC, APNIC, and LACNIC relative to the two older registrars. This is yet another indication of the strong growth of the Internet outside of its established base of the United States, Canada, Western Europe, and a small number of industrialized nations in the Asia-Pacific region.