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Showing posts with label IP Address. Show all posts
Showing posts with label IP Address. Show all posts

IP Addresses

[Student Post]
For those that didn’t know, the world is running out of IP Addresses:
It has been known for some time that the current structure of IP addresses is not sufficient for the number of computers/devices accessing the internet in future. The current structure of IP addresses, known as IPv4, is structured as (e.g. which limits this number of unique addresses to 4,294,967,296.
With the limit of Ipv4 addresses expected to be exhausted soon and the number of internet connected devices estimated to reach 22 billion by 2020 (IMS Research) it is clear a new IP standard is required.
Thankfully a group known as the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) has been developing IPv6 since the early 90’s which provides for 340 undecillon (that’s 340 with 36 zeros) unique addresses. (e.g. 2001:0db8:85a3:0000:0000:8a2e:0370:7334).  However, proliferation of IPv6 has been slow with Google estimating in 2008 that IPv6 uptake among users was less than 1%. The need for replacement and/or updating of some hardware and software is partly to blame for this slow rate of uptake.
So it seems a significant burden has been placed on the IETF to ensure the smooth running of the internet through the adoption of IPv6. That’s a lot of technical control for how the internet of the future is run. Interestingly the IETF is a volunteer organisation with no formal membership. Their work is funded by employers of its volunteers and sponsors including the US National Security Agency (NSA).
                Questions this raises for me:
-          If IPv6 is developed through volunteers Is the internet controlled and owned by everyone?
-          Although ICANN is no longer US Government controlled it seems the IETF may be to some extent. If all roads lead to the US is the US government in control of the internet?
Another way of thinking about this issue might be “Who has the deepest level of technical control over how the internet is run?” Maybe that’s the IETF.

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