canadian_banner

      Internet Address Warehouse Runs Out of “IP” Numbers

      Feb 08, 2011
      The global warehouse for Internet addresses ran empty on February 3, 2011. An article on montrealgazette.com, stated that the non-profit Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) gave out its last five batches of “IP” numbers that identify destinations for digital traffic.

      The global warehouse for Internet addresses ran empty on February 3, 2011. An article on montrealgazette.com, stated that the non-profit Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) gave out its last five batches of “IP” numbers that identify destinations for digital traffic.

      ICANN Chief Rod Beckstrom stated, “A pool of more than four billion Internet addresses has been emptied this morning.” He continued, “It is completely depleted. There are no more.” 

      According to the Montreal Gazette article, the solution to the problem is a switch to an “IPv6” format, which will allow for trillions of Internet addresses. The current IPv4 standard provides a meager four billion Internet addresses. “It is like running out of license plates,” said Internet Architecture Board Chairman Olaf Kolkman. “Driving on the road the next day would not change.”

      ICANN has been calling for a transition to IPv6 for years, but websites and Internet service providers have been clinging to the old standard since the birth of the Internet. The article noted that the effort and expense of changing to IPv6 would fall mostly on Internet service providers, websites, and network operators that have to ensure the systems can handle the new online addresses and properly route the Internet traffic. Beckstrom expects that the full switch to IPv6 will take years and the potential cost will be billions of dollars.

      “We really should see this as an historic event,” stated Trefor Davies, chief officer of British ISP Timico. “The very nature of the Internet has changes with the transition.”

      The Montreal Gazette noted that small changes might occur with consumers in the transition; people may need to update routers or modems that connect their computer to the Internet. However, the article notes that for the most part, consumers should remain oblivious to the switch since complex IP numbers would still appear to them as words and domains, such as icann.org.

      Adoption of IVPv6 is vital to preventing the Internet from becoming “balkanized” with localized addressing frameworks, according to Internet Society Chief Technology Officer Leslie Daigle.
      The article noted that Google, Facebook, and other major Internet players will add IPv6 addresses to their systems in a one-day trial run on June 8, 2011, to let all parties involved check for trouble spots. “We need to kick the tires on it at a global scale and see if there are some unforeseen problems,” Lorenzo Colitti said. “There is really a rally cry element to it. No single player can do it alone; we need to work together.

      “It’s only a matter of time before the RIRs and Internet Service Providers must start denying requests for IPv4 address space,” said Raul Echeberria, chairman of the Number Resource Organization and RIR umbrella group. According to the Montreal Gazette, world IPv6 Day will start at 0001 GMT on June 8, 2011.

       

       This monthly advisory contains brief summaries of recent legislative and regulatory issues that may affect the management of records and information in Canada.

       Want to sign up to receive an e-mail version of the Canadian Policy Brief? It's free! Just tell us a little about yourself and you'll receive a monthly dose of the latest in legislation, regulation, and more.

       

       

        © 2016, ARMA International