Microsoft, Google, Yahoo and Facebook have been active today, trialling the new address system called IPV6. The standard at the moment is IPv4, but this system is running out of addresses with the total number of available ones left, running at “only” around 80 million.
The transition is expected to roll out over the next few years, with new hardware expected to be needed by consumers. Today’s World IPv6 Day is for the companies to see how the technology works.
“This is not a year 2000 thing. Planes are not going to start falling out of the sky,” said Philip Sheldrake, a board member at non-profit group 6UK, which is helping to promote the system.
“The web will continue to work, but future growth would be stymied. It is just like when we used up the phone numbers in London.”
He also touched on the upgrades people would be needing eventually.
“A lot of routers at the moment are already capable of supporting IPv6. What they need is a firmware update,” explained Richard Fletcher, chief operating officer at Plusnet, a UK internet service provider (ISP)
“ISPs should ship new routers or offer those updates. We are making sure all our fibre routers are ready for IPv6.”
Switching to IPv6 is important because it features a massive number of addresses, more than should ever be necessary – seriously, it’s more than 340 undecillion. Considering 1 undecliion is 10 with 35 zeros after it, we should be fine.
Corporate hardware will need more upgrading however, as its more antiquated and updated less often. This will mean that they have to spend more to update to the new standard. With the non determined switch over date, this is causing them to be rather slow to catch up.
“Corporates are probably quite far behind,” said Sebastien Lahtinen from Thinkbroadband.com.
“They are trying to put off the expense and there are a lot of technologies that they can use to do that.”