Internet addresses going to exhaust by 2011

According to a prediction by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), it is reported that more than 85 per cent of the available addresses on the internet have been allocated and the remaining will run out by 2011. Thus internet world may face this doomsday inn exactly 1,273 day.

The web addresses I am talking about refer to the numerical Internet protocol (IP) addresses that denote individual devices connected to the Internet. They are unique to every system and are basic for all online communications, from e-mail and web pages to voice chat and streaming video.

Whenever you type the web address of any website, the browser actually search the IP address for that site from a big telephone book, commonly called a “Domain Name Server” (DNS). Say if you type your browser will ask DNS the IP address for it and in return will be sent by DNS to your browser. Your browser then heads off to Google’s website using the IP address as a map.

This doomsday can lead to a slower internet speeds and new connections and services (such as Internet phone calling) will either be expensive or simply impossible to obtain. The solution to the shortage is to upgrade to a new address protocol.

The Internet protocols are prepared by the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), a large open international community of network designers, operators, vendors, and researchers working for the smooth operation of the Internet. The current IP address scheme, called Internet Protocol Version 4 (Ipv4), was introduced in 1981. At that time there were hardly 500 computers connected to the Internet. The address makers at that time allowed for four billion addresses, thinking they would last forever. But they have been nearly gobbled up in just under 30 years!

But no worries… the IETF are already prepared for the doomsday. A replacement system, called IPv6, had been devised as a solution more than a decade ago, providing enough addresses for billions upon billions of devices as well as improving Internet phone and video calls, and possibly even helping to end e-mail spam.

But still the problem doesn’t end with it. It was reported that the new system is not really compatible with the Internet of today. Taking the same example of Google, if it wants to support the new system IPv6, a whole new IPv6 web service will be needed to build, complete with new domain names, servers and bandwidth. The costs run into billions.

The OECD was quoted “immediate costs are associated with deployment of IPv6, whereas many benefits are long-term and depend on a critical mass adopting it”.

You can have a look at the countdown clock for the doomsday at


2 Responses

  1. internet phones these days have very powerful and nice features, i bet they would add some more value added features in the fut “”

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