Web Address Shortage on the Way

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There is a serious danger of a shortage of web addresses in the very near future, the Number Resource Organisation (NRO) has warned. The Organisation – formed by the world’s five Regional Internet Registries – has said that the internet is running out of web addresses, with the stark figures telling that that less than 10% of current-generation IPv4 web addresses are still available.

NRO chairman Axel Pawlik in happier times...

The NRO is tasked with allocating the remaining IPv4 addresses and it is urging business and organisations to migrate to the next generation naming protocol, IPv6, in order to limit the impact of the address shortage on “future network operations”. The IPv4 and IPv6 protocols refer to the way in which web addresses are created and assigned.

A Daily Telegraph report sees Pawlik claim that this is “a key milestone in the growth and development of the global internet. With less than 10 per cent of the entire IPv4 address range still available, it is vital that the internet community take considered and determined action to ensure the global adoption of IPv6.

“The limited IPv4 addresses will not allow us enough resources to achieve the ambitions we all hold for global internet access. The deployment of IPv6 is a key infrastructure development that will enable the network to support the billions of people and devices that will connect in the coming years,” he added

A recent survey by the European Commission found that of the 610 government, educational and other industry organisations questioned across Europe, the Middle East and Asia, just 17% had upgraded to IPv6. The Commission warned that the timely deployment of the protocol is vital to the growth and stability of the internet.

“Many decision-makers don’t realise how many devices require IP addresses,” said Raul Echeberria, secretary of the NRO. “Mobile phones, laptops, servers, routers, all need unique addresses. The number of available IPv4 addresses is shrinking rapidly, and if the global internet community fails to recognise this, it will face grave consequences in the very near future.”

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