Are you prepared for IPv6?

2011-02-05T11:00:00Z

June 8 next week has been designated IPv6 Day to focus the world’s attention on a major upgrade of the Internet’s addressing system. The old Internet protocol called IPv4 (version 4) is being upgraded to the new protocol, IPv6 (version 6).<!--more-->

Internet Protocol (IP) is a set of rules for communication between devices on the Internet. These protocols are a set of rules that allow effective communication over the Internet.

The IPv4 of Internet Protocol has been in use for more than 35 years. In this period, it has been extended and improved considerably. But thanks to the galloping growth in Internet use and the number of new websites and devices being added every day, the system has now run out of addresses.

This is quite similar to the problem that is faced when a telephone exchange runs out of numbers – new services can’t be provided to new customers. Internet engineers are now starting to move to a new version of the protocol – IPv6. This change is like upgrading a telephone system’s numbering pattern from six to seven digits or from seven to eight digits, as many countries have done in the past few years.

IPv6 is designed to work much better with the next generation of mobile phones meaning that people will be better able to access the Internet from their phone.

No drastic changes will take place next week or on June 8, however. The change to IPv6 will be a gradual and the Internet will continue to work with the old protocol for some time.

For more information of how this will affect the Pacific Islands, visit the Pacific Islands chapter of the Internet Society (PICISOC). You can join online at www.isoc.org/membership and nominate PICISOC as your local chapter.

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