The UK’s active IPv4 address space rose by 15 percent in the second quarter of 2015 compared to the same period in 2014 to reach almost 31 million, even as the stock of IPv4 addresses runs dry.
Network firm Akamai’s quarterly State of the Internet report recorded the huge, and surprising, year-on-year increase, which comes at a time when other European nations, such as Belgium and Switzerland, embrace IPv6.
The reason for the increase could be due to the UK government, which began selling off its IPv4 address space earlier this year after it discovered a huge block was being unused, despite its financial value.
Whatever the cause, report author David Belson said that the dwindling stock of IPv4 addresses had led to more demand for what address spaces remain.
“As might be expected, the lack of available IPv4 address space is causing the secondary market for IPv4 addresses to heat up, and indeed, in recent months the number of IPv4 address transfers has increased significantly,” he wrote.
“Even the United Kingdom government has begun selling off its unused address space after realising it had about five million unneeded addresses at its disposal.”
Despite the UK seeing its IPv4 stock rise the global trend shows that the slow shift to IPv6 is gaining momentum, with Akamai seeing the number of IPv4 connections on its network fall by 8.6 million year-on-year.
“We expected to see this trend as carriers increase the availability of native IPv6 connectivity for subscribers and implement carrier-grade network address translation solutions more broadly, in an effort to conserve limited IPv4 address space,” wrote Belson.
Meanwhile, the Akamai report also revealed that the average UK internet connection has risen to 11.8Mbps, a 7.6 year-on-year increase, to put the UK 19th in world rankings.
Heading the charts was South Korea with an average 23.1Mbps, with Hong Kong second at 17Mbps and Japan third with 16.4Mbps average connections.
Overall the global average internet connection speed is now 5.1Mbps, an increase of 17 percent year-on-year.
Earlier this week, BT announced its intention to ensure everyone in the UK can access broadband speeds of between 5 and 10Mbps, and that another 10 million properties have ultrafast speeds of up to 1Gbps to grow the UK’s digital economy.