The Web “IPocalypse” is not Happening any Day Soon

When the Internet was invented no one knew it would grow to become one of the greatest and most successful inventions of the 20th century. Now with thousands of new websites emerging every month, the World Wide Web has come to a period when it’s literally creaking at the seams.

Recently at the ICANN (the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) headquarters in Miami, a joyful ceremony took place during which the last remaining IPv4 (Internet Protocol v4) addresses were handed out to the Regional Internet Registries. IPv4 can handle about four billion addresses, and in 1981 when this standard was first introduced the number seemed like more than enough. Now the pool of potential identifiers is about to run out.

To prevent the imminent IPocalypse from happening, a new modern standard — IPv6 — is being introduced. This cutting-edge technology will allow over 340 trillion addresses – quite enough to last for a very long time! However, in order to fulfil this transition lots of crucial changes in terms of both hardware and software must be made. To help deal with these big challenges and support the introduction of IPv6, various high-profile companies, including Google and Microsoft, will be joining together for IPv6 Day on June 8th.

When interviewed on the issue, Stephen Shankland, a senior writer for CNET news said the following about the IPv6 transition, “For most people, it’s not really going to be that big a deal. But if you have a website, it’s going to be something you’re going to have to deal with. And if you’re an Internet service provider, you’re going to have to deal with it. So, this is something that the IT people out there who run computers and computer systems, it’s mostly their problem to deal with and they’re going to be spending a lot of money over the next few years to make the transition to IPV6.”

Commenting on the interviewer’s concern regarding the extra cost the transition may pass onto consumers and businesses, Mr Shankland had this to say, “As always, with new technology there’s lots of exciting stuff that comes down the pike. But sooner or later, somebody pays for it. Hopefully, you know, big profitable companies are doing the transition. They can absorb the costs. But, you know, sooner or later, if your ISP has to spend a lot of money upgrading a whole lot of servers and other Internet equipment, then, yeah, that cost will get passed along down to the customer.”

Google’s statement said that they had “been working for years to implement the larger IPv6 format,” and reminds users how crucial IPv6 is to the future of the Web. Meanwhile, Bing’s entry stated that each move forward is another step in the multi-year process to shepherd in a new Internet era, with billions upon billions of addresses representing billions of devices and users.”

Nonetheless, the vast majority of end users have little to worry about, as they won’t have to take any changes to welcome the new IP era.

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