Posted by & filed under Digital Policy, Google, industry analysis, telecomunications.

Description: Who could have guessed that 4.3 billion Internet connections wouldn’t be enough?


Date: Feb 15 , 2011

In 1976, Cerf and his colleagues in the R&D office of the Defense Department had to make a judgment call: how much network address space should they allocate to an experiment connecting computers in an advanced data network?

They debated the question for more than a year. Finally, with a deadline looming, Cerf decided on a number – 4.3 billion separate network addresses, each one representing a connected device – that seemed to provide more room to grow than his experiment would ever require; far more, in fact, than he could ever imagine needing. And so he was comfortable rejecting the even larger number of addresses that some on his team had argued for. Click here for rest of story

Questions for discussion:

  • What is Internet Protocol version 6?
  • Is the industry ready for this major change?
  • What problems do you forsee happening as a result of  implementing Protocol version 6?

6 Responses to “New system to add Internet addresses as numbers run out”

  1. Kendra

    Internet Protocol Version 6 (IPv6) will enable the internet to expand indefinitely, by providing an unlimited amount of IP addresses (which are required in order to connect devices to the internet).
    The industry is ready for this major change, as they have been informed of the change and (most?) have been creating products and placing products in the market that already have the capability to support IPv6.
    Problems will arise, they are inevitable. I believe that these problems will surface in two separate ways. The first: producers are informed, yet consumers (especially non tech-savvy individuals) have not been informed about this incoming protocol change. Without this awareness their new purchases may be built to support the old protocol (IPv4). When the plan is to have your shiny new internet capable device for more than a few years, this could be problematic as IPv4 will be phased out or if the device that was boughten does not mesh properly with the IPv6. The second: companies using old technology may not have the funds to make the necessary updates, be it software or purchasing new equipment. This could put companies between a rock and a hard place: The inability to purchase/make the necessary updates, or the inability to access the internet.

  2. Kim Berger

    The industry is not ready for this major change as of yet, but is on its way to becoming so. As Microsoft 7 and Apple OSX have already switched over to Internet Protocol Version 6, this alleviates a major part of the problem, these being two of the biggest user Operating Systems. The rest of the big operating systems our there, Linnux and Uni and the rest will have to switch over soon or run the risk of becoming obsolete as all the internet IP addresses are used up. AS the switch is a very major one, we do run the risk of encountering difficult problems and this will have very negative and consequential effects if the switch is not implemented successfully and as planned, as every major Fortune 500 company relies entirely on some operating system or another in order to operate and run it’s company. If these systems fail, these companies will not have many options to turn to and as a result, bad things could happen in the economy. Which, as we already know, no one needs more of right now.

  3. Ashley H

    I can never understand why people but limits on new ideas and technology thinking that it will never reach the cutoff given. Really? With how quickly the world is developing and changing people couldn’t foresee 4.3 billion Internet connections not being enough? I think putting limitations on anything is a horrible idea whether it is limits on Internet connections or speed limits on highways (just kidding, sort of). If we had implemented this Internet Protocol version 6 thirty years ago we would not be faced with the enormous “potential for breakdowns”. But since Cerf thought that 4.3 connections were more than enough we are now worried about enormous breakdowns and difficulties with switching to the new Internet Protocol version due to compatibility problems. Or maybe this was Cerf’s plan to ensure a few more years of employment before retiring, if that’s the case then good thinking, Cerf! Either way, plan for infinity connections needed next time.

  4. AS

    The internet protocal version 6 is a program that will allow for more internet connections, as where the old system will be tapped out at 4.3 billion internet connections. I find it interesting that there was actually a limit set for the ammount of interent connections back in 1977. Being such a major break through you would think that they would have anticipated that use would skyrocket over a long period of time. I dont think the industry is ready for this major change. It seems from the article that they two systems are very different and a lot of it wont be compatible. I think that the two systems need to be compatible on all systems that we currently have for a smooth transition. If this does not occur then there will be major problems in our internet world. It was interesting to see that some companies have already started preparing for this problem but I am suprised that more have not since it is suppose to happen in just over a year as predicted by the article.

  5. Dylan B

    Articles such as this one make me laugh. In part this article shows a mistake in the development in the internet; who would have expected 4.3 billion to be too few… On the other hand the fact that this problem is being addressed at all is just a further display of one of the greatest developments in human history. In 30 years the internet has burned through BILLIONS of addresses. I dont forsee the transition to internet protocol 6 being a huge issue, nor do i think it needs y2k-level attention, but if there are glitches at the time, so what? Its the internet, and if we have to cross a few bumpy roads to sustain it then thats exactly what we’ll do. Congratulations internet on dwarfing the wildest imaginations of your creators!

  6. JJ

    I personally have never heard of this issue until I read the article. I would have to agree with Dylan, in regards to how the internet was probably the biggest technological developments in human history. I also don’t see the issue of transitioning to the internet protocol version 6, to be a very big deal. We have people and the technology to deal with such issues and the fact that companies such as mac and microsoft have already began to transition or already successfully incorportated into there operating systems. I also would have to agree with Cerf, in the aspect of us as individuals requesting the transition. I personally feel if the internet has come this long with the limited technolgy we used to ahve that this is something that should be done automatically and should not concern us as consumers.

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