The race is on for network and Web site operators to support IPv6 as market indicators point to the rapid depletion of addresses for IPv4. According to the Number Resource Organization, only 8 percent of IPv4 addresses remain unallocated. As noted in this Business Week article, IPv6 deployment is happening too slowly and the NRO reports that only 5.5 percent of the world’s addressable IP networks can handle traffic over IPv6.
“The Number Resource Organization (NRO announced on Tuesday that only 8% of IPv4 addresses remain unallocated. The NRO consists of the five Regional Internet Registries, which dole out blocks of IPv4 and IPv6 address space to carriers.
“The NRO’s latest figures are significant because the Internet infrastructure must be upgraded to support both IPv4 and IPv6. IPv4 uses 32-bit addresses and can support 4.3 billion devices connected directly to the Internet. IPv6, on the other hand, uses 128-bit addresses and supports a virtually unlimited number of devices.
“When IPv4 addresses run out — which is projected to occur in 2011 or 2012 — carriers including Verizon and Comcast plan to provide their customers with IPv6 addresses.”