Article by Nicole Henderson in The WHIR.
Emphasis in red added by me.
Brian Wood, VP Marketing
The Final Countdown: ARIN Down to 16 Million IPv4 Addresses
ARIN manages IP address allocations for the US, Canada and the Caribbean, and is one of a handful of global Regional Internet Registry’s that receive IP allocations from the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA).
According to ARIN, it has around 16 million IPv4 addresses left to allocate. Industry organizations have been warning about the depletion of IPv4 addresses for years, but IPv6 adoption has been slow to date. A recent report predicted that ARIN would run out of IPv4 addresses before December 2014.
All IPv4 requests are now subject to Countdown Plan processes, and will be processed on a “First in, First out” basis. All requests of any size will be subject to team review, and requests for /15 or larger will require approval from a department director.
Since each correspondence will be processed chronologically in the queue, ARIN said it is possible that response times may exceed its typical two-day turnaround time.
ARIN has a full explanation of the IPv4 depletion and phase 4 of its IPv4 countdown plan here (PDF).