Wednesday, December 08, 2010
I wrote about the end of IPv4 and the need to move to IPv6 more than two years ago, and engineers have been predicting the need to make the move for 20 years. Now it is here. There are no IPv4 addresses available in reserve. Meanwhile, the number of internet devices -- computers, phones, tablets, etc. -- continues to grow wildly and the demand for internet addresses rises unabated. So why with all the PR about the need to move to a newer system hasn't it been done? The answer says something about the limits of PR. It requires too much of a change for internet service providers to make the shift before they are forced to do so. The shift is somewhat like moving from 120 volts in the US to 220 volts for household wiring. Everything from lamps to dishwashers would have to be modified. Who wants to do that? So, even though everyone knows the era of IPv4 has ended, they are still not ready for the move to IPv6. Communications can do only so much. It will take years before we enter the IPv6 era, but when we do, we will wonder why we held on to IPv4 for so long.