The internet is full, what now?

The internet is full, what now?

Summary: Sometime next year the internet as we know it will run out of IP addresses. That's why we have IPv6, but why are so few people using it?

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Sometime next year the internet as we know it will run out of IP addresses. That's why we have IPv6, but why are so few people using it?

It sounds like another Y2K type scenario doesn't it? James Spenceley, the CEO of Vocus, says the analogy is closer to when we ran out of phone numbers. We fixed the problem by adding an extra digit. Paul Brooks, principal at Layer10 Consulting, says this time we're creating enough addresses to give one to each grain of sand in the galaxy. That's probably enough to be going on with.

I talk to them both on Twisted Wire this week, to see what needs to change to make the move to IPv6. It is, of course, more complex than adding an extra digit onto a phone number. There are hardware and software issues to overcome.

Most networks are IPv6 ready — or at least they can be with a little configuration. So what's the bottleneck that's stopping us all moving over to an IPv6 internet?

I also ask the obvious question: we're on IPv4 now, we're moving to IPv6, what happened to IPv5?

Running time: 28 minutes, 11 seconds

Topics: Telcos, Broadband, Browser

About

Phil Dobbie has a wealth of radio and business experience. He started his career in commercial radio in the UK and, since coming to Australia in 1991, has held senior marketing and management roles with Telstra, OzEmail, the British Tourist Authority and other telecommunications, media, travel and advertising businesses.

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5 comments
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  • The number refers to the number of bytes in the IP address.
    Patanjali
  • My ADSL2+ modem-router is not IPV6 capable.
    I suspect 90% of the world's home internet users are in the same boat.
    I was shocked to discover many modem-routers being sold today by various manufacturers are still not IPV6 capable.
    Yoda7
  • I still think it should have gone straight from 4 to 8. Most hardware and software that deals with IPv6 is going to have two dummy bytes anyway. It will be just like going back to processing FAT12. What issue is there with two redundant bytes in an IP address compared to all the other junk being dumped on us across the 'net?
    Treknology
  • "The number refers to the number of bytes in the IP address."

    Rubbish; although the number of bytes in an IPv4 address is 4 (ie 32 bits), the number of bytes in an IPv6 address is 16 (ie 128 bits). This allows for an enormous number of addresses, approx 4 x 10 to the power of 38.

    The number is the version number, and 5 was previously assigned to another protocol, so they went to v6 for IPng.
    rahbm
  • I discovered that on my home router as well. When you log in to the router management page, there is nowhere at all for IPv6 support. Worse still, the provider does not seem to have a firmware update that would be able to incorporate it.

    It's all good and well that Windows and most other operating systems support the IPv6 addressing scheme, but without router, DHCP and DNS support, this feature is pretty much redundant.
    dmh_paul