Internet address shortage might cut off Europe soon

Dr. Vinton “Vint” Cerf, one of the founding fathers of the internet, told the London Metro paper that the internet might run out of addresses in only six month.

Dr. Vint Cerf (by Вени Марковски Veni Markovski)

“If nobody does anything then the internet will simply stop expanding,” Cerf, who is not Googlevice-president, told Metro.

Mr. Cerf is not talking about www. addresses, but about so called IPv4 addresses. According to Wikipedia that stands for “Internet Protokol version 4”, a system that uses 32 bit (four bite) addresses, set up in the 1990s.

This system limits the address space of the internet to 4,294,967,296 (232) unique addresses.

Every internet user is being given such an IP-adress that helps his computer to communicate with others in the same network or with computers from different networks. (Wikipedia)

If there are no more of these addresses left, the internet will not be able to take on new people and websites.

A system change might help

Vint Cerf has not only repeatedly warned of this danger, but he also offered a possible solution: A switch of systems.

The new system “IPv6” is “ready and waiting to be widely adopted” (Metro), would be able to hold trillions of addresses.

But the adapting process is going very slow. “Only a small minority of businesses and ISPs – and a few countries such as China – have made […] progress with implementing IPv6,” says the Metro.

Vint Cerf told the Metro that ‘business was to be blames for its ‘shortsighted’ approach’.

According to Cerf’s Metro Interview, the downside to implementing the new system is that it is not directly compatible to the old one.

But not implementing it might have sever consequences: “If Europe doesn’t implement IPv6, it won’t be able to talk to the rest of the world that does implement IPv6,” Cerf warned.

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One Response to Internet address shortage might cut off Europe soon

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