FILESHARING and other data transfer activities could come to an end if the world does not move to IPv6, say experts who expect the Asia Pacific region to run out of Internet protocol version 4 (IPv4) addresses first.
To head off global chaos and more widespread cons similar to the Millennium Bug, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, the Internet Society (ISOC), the Internet Architecture Board (IAB) and Number Resource Organization (NRO) told the world today, don't panic, but make the move to IPv6.
Admitting that the world has only three to six months takeup of IPV4 addresses left, assuming existing standard allocation procedures are followed, the panel expected rationing to be employed. However the experts did not rule out a black market in IPv4 addresses, but expected the rollout of IPv6 to make that redundant.
IAB chair Olaf Kolkman set out a worst case scenario for general users. He said, "The Internet is not in danger it will work tomorrow. The danger is the loss of opportunity if we move away from an end to end model. Reaching people end to end could become very difficult. It could be very hard to make your Skype phone calls, to do your file sharing. All those things remain possible."
With predictions of IPv4 still operating 10 years from now due to legacy equipment and a total worldwide cost of implementing IPv6 in the billions of dollars, ICAAN, ISOC, NRO and IAB experts said "meh" to the thought of IPv4 apocalypse.
Google was cited as being an organisation that has already made its website IPv6 compatible. The danger to businesses of staying with IPv4-only addresses is that they are invisible to IPv6 users.
IPv4 addresses can be tunnelled through IPv6 and vice versa to some extent, of course, but website operators have to set that up and provide the networking infrastructure to make it work, which will cost time and money. µ