Digital doomsday : is it end of internet

Sunday, July 6, 20081comments

The digital doomsday is round the corner. In exactly 1,273 days there will be Web chaos in the world as we run out of Internet addresses.

More than 85 per cent of the available addresses have already been allocated and the rest will run out by 2011, according to a prediction by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

When the current IP address scheme, called Internet Protocol Version 4 (Ipv4), was introduced in 1981, there were hardly 500 computers connected to the internet. The address makers at that time allowed for four billion addresses, thinking they would last forever. They have been nearly gobbled up in just under 30 years!

As addresses run dry we will all feel the pinch: internet speeds will drop and new connections and services (such as internet phone calling) will either be expensive or simply impossible to obtain.

The IETF is already prepared for the doomsday. It has devised a replacement system, called IPv6, more than a decade ago, providing enough addresses for billions upon billions of devices as well as improving internet phone and video calls, and possibly even helping to end e-mail spam.
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