The internet is heading for a meltdown in just two and a half years unless every man, woman, child and device on the planet moves to IPv6, it was claimed today.
Speaking at the June OECD Ministerial Meeting in Seoul, Korea, Geoff Huston, chief scientist at APNIC, which is part of the Number Resource Organization, the group that manages internet addresses, has called for a significant acceleration of investment in the infrastructure vital for effective IPv6 adoption.
In his address at the conference earlier today, he said, "By 9 Jan 2011, the underlying machinery of the internet that generates [IP addresses] will run out. We only had four billion, and in the past 10 years we have gone through almost all of them."
Unless businesses, end-users and computing devices are upgraded from IPv4 to IPv6, Huston said there will not be any more IPv4 address to give out. This will stop the growth of the internet, he warned, preventing new users from connecting and stopping new technology like WiMax from taking off, "They all need addressees and we cant give them addresses," he said.
Huston warned that the industry had done very little to respond to the problem of migrating over to IPv6. "If you deploy IPv6, [your machines] can't talk to the rest of the world, This means the entire Internet has to run two protocols for the next 10 years." After this time all machines and users will has moved over to IPv6. He estimated that one billion users and machines across the globe will need to be migrated onto IPv6.
Watch Huston's address here, thanks to Qik user Sheldrake:
Geoff Huston APNIC @ OECD Future Internet Meeting, Seoul
This was first published in June 2008