Europe could have less than a year's worth of available internet addresses left, according to new campaign group 6UK. The not-for-profit organisation launched its campaign this week to encourage UK organisations to adopt the new IP6 internet protocol. Yesterday's event in London was attended by Google Vice President Vince Cerf
The problem involves the amount of equipment connecting to the internet. Each piece of equipment – computers, mobile phones, tablets etc – has a unique Internet Protocol (IP) address. However, it's currently forecast that the number of IP version 4 (IPv4) addresses will all be used by the end of next year.
The next generation of IP addresses – IPv6 – has already been created and has been available for several years. However, although existing IPv4 addresses will keep working when IPv6 is introduced, the 6UK group is encouraging UK businesses to adopt IPv6 now. It says using IPv6 means technical services businesses will be seen as progressive and forward-thinking, while other organisations are likely to appreciate the higher network efficiency and superior quality of service available when using multimedia applications.
[6UK executive briefing (pdf)]