As Richard MacManus at RWW explains, folks at the body responsible for assigning internet addresses, the numerical ones to which the more recognizable DNS names point, are projecting they will run out of assignable addresses in a year. This is bolstered by similar concerns expressed by Google’s Vint Cerf, who has been advocated strongly for a move to the newer IPv6 to replace the aging IPv4, not the least reason being the much, much larger possible space of addresses. I tend to take these claims with a grain of salt as growth on the internet tends to be a bit chaotic and we have other tools, like network address translation, which can ease some pressure on the rapidly consumed IPv4 address space.
John Curran from ARIN, the non-profit responsible for managing the distribution of Internet addresses in the North American region, told ReadWriteWeb that of the approximately 4 billion IPv4 addresses available, all but 6% have already been allocated. Curran expects the final 6% to be allocated over the coming year.