Less Than 700 Days Until We Run Out of IP Addresses, I Guess

as a parent who works on the internet, I find this offensive
not really.

See, I live off seeing what you did there. If we run out of IPs, I'll be terribly disappointed.

In a recent interview, John Curran, president and CEO of the American Registry for Internet Numbers, explained why businesses need to sit up and take notice of the impending shift that is taking place as we move from Internet Protocol version 4 (IPv4) to the more expansive IP version 6.

What’s happening is the original Internet numbering system — which assigns addresses such as — is running out of numbers. IPv4 is a 32-bit system with four billion possible combinations. “That sounds like a lot of numbers [oh no, anything but a lot of fucking numbers!], but it really isn’t when you think about the size of the globe and the number of devices being connected these days,” Curran says. In fact, we’re due to run out of numbers within 700 days, he warns. IPv6, with 128-bit addressing space, enables “numbering of all of the molecules in the galaxy,” he says.

As soon as the last IPv4 number is used up, every new device or site that comes along after that uses IPv6. Don’t loose [sic] too much sleep over your systems, however. Industry planners have been aware of this matter since the 1990s. Most hardware and software has been ready for IPv6 for some time.

However, Curran advises businesses to check their configurations before the changeover takes place, as glitches may come up. “We can’t actually get an IPv6 host and an IPv4 server to talk to each other, because the IPv4 server only knows 32 bits. It’s much like if your telephone was set up to only ever dial seven digits, and it wouldn’t let you dial 10. Sure you could almost have a conversation, but you couldn’t call most of the world.”

When the changeover occurs, “ISPs are going to have to start using IPv6 to connect customers,” he explains. “Then, they’re going to have to put IPv6 gateways in, boxes that work like network address boxes, to translate IPv6-connected customers to the IPv4 websites on the Internet. That will work, but that’s going to be suboptimal, because those are gateways doing the translation.” This may slow down online applications such as Skype, Voice over IP, real-time video games, which “won’t necessarily run smoothly going through those translators.”

Curran points out that the Internet will be running on two protocols for some time. “If you really want to start a business that’s Internet based, you’re going to want to take your equipment, and make it connected by both IPv4 and IPv6.”

Just let me keep all of these (trust me, they are fun as hell to watch) and I'll be happy if they change the Internet as long as it's better. I'm reluctant to see how this turns out, as I recall rural broadband was an early Stimulus goal. Who can trust what they say about the Stimulus anymore?

Mandelman Matters gets into the other Stimulus distortions in further detail. Personally I can't stand to look at it.

Also, bust out the Schedule Fs, Internet accountants, farmers use the Internet too. Maybe that rural broadband plan is working, I'd actually love to see that.

Jr Deputy Accountant

Some say he’s half man half fish, others say he’s more of a seventy/thirty split. Either way he’s a fishy bastard.