July 17, 2006

Scratch One Objection to the Current Internet Management Structure

Filed under: Economy,Marvels,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 11:45 am

Last fall, before the The World Summit on the Information Society in Tunisia, one of the objections raised by UN and EU lovers who believed that the time had come for the essentially US-managed Internet to cede control to either of those two bodies was that we would run out of IP addresses, and late-developing countries would be left out in the Internet wilderness.

Though this was always a specious complaint, thanks to the existence of routers and hubs, it has now become totally irrelevant (HT Drudge):

340,282,366,920,938,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 new web addresses created by internet chiefs …..

Of the internet addresses available, more than three quarters are already in use, and the remainder are expected to be assigned by 2009. So, what will happen as more people in developing countries come online? The answer is IPv6, a new internet protocol that has more spaces than the old one: 340,282,366,920,938,000,000, 000,000,000,000,000,000 spaces in fact.

If every human on earth acquired a new IP address every day, it would take 133,182,922,473,948,000,000,000,000 years until the New IPv6 number assignment system would reach capacity.

I’d say that’s one less thing we need to worry about.

The UN and EU will have to come up with some other reason why “we” would deliberately harm the Information Age’s backbone — and why we should believe thta the tyrannical and PC-frenzied folks who control their respective organizations wouldn’t.



  1. IPV6 has been around for a while now. The problem is that there is no business need right now to migrate from ipv4 to ipv6. The only ways to justify moving to v6 is a greater proliferation of ip-enabled devices (phones, refrigerators, televisions, whatever, or exhaustion of the current ipv4 address space. I do understand the complaint. We (US businesses) would not choose to move on to ipv6 until we have eaten all of the IP’s and crowded the less developed countries out. It’s not very likely to happen, but I do respect their concern.

    I do agree, however, that the oversight of the Internet (a *global* network) should be handled by a global organization, be it the UN, or an empowerment of the IETF.

    Comment by Kevin irwin — July 17, 2006 @ 12:23 pm

  2. The IETF at first glance at least looks like a reasonable nominee. IMO, the UN simply isn’t.

    In general, I’m in an “if it works, don’t fix it” mode on net infrastructure management. The dangers of another party controlling the net and limiting access, free speech, turning into an Orwellian nightmare, etc. are too real.

    The article involved says in the unexcerpted portion that transition to IPv6 would be “seamless.” You would appear to disagree.

    Comment by TBlumer — July 17, 2006 @ 12:32 pm

  3. The implementation of IPV6 is no trivial task. True, it is as simple as changing some router configurations your IP addresses. The rub lies in the preparation. Before you commit to the migration, you need to be guaranteed that all of your customers/intended audiences/viewers have the same IPV6 capabilities.

    Comment by Kevin Irwin — July 17, 2006 @ 9:45 pm

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