On June 6th, 2012 the internet forever changed with the launch of IPV6, which has permanently expanded the internet by providing more addresses. You might have heard a lot about IPV6. What is it and how will it affect you, or your business?
The internet was designed in 1973 as an experiment and launched in 1983 with 4.3 billion term points (addresses), known as IPV4. Consider an address like a phone number – there is a unique one for each user. The internet has grown so much, especially with the use of mobile devices which also need an address to connect. The result of this increase in internet users is that IPV4 has run out of unique addresses.
So What? Why Is It Important To Have Lots of Addresses?
Without a unique address people will not have the ability to get on the internet, and the internet could never grow or expand in any way. So running out of addresses posed a huge problem for the internet and its creators. In 1996 work started on IPV6, and has finally been completed. After such a long time in the making IPV6 was finally launched last Wednesday. If you didn’t notice a difference in your internet experience then it is safe to say that the launch was a success.
IPV6 will have 128 bits of address space, which translates into 340 trillion, trillion, trillion addresses. Hopefully this is enough for future usage but it is hard to tell because really, in 1983 no one ever dreamed that the 4.3 billion addresses that IPV4 provided would not be enough. Of course, the internet took off in ways no one could imagine which is why IPV6 has been necessary.
Politics of IPV6
Although the average user and business will not notice a change on IPV6 there are advantages to businesses seeing an opportunity to grab a new domain suffix (the .com part in a domain name). In fact, it has been businesses that have dominated the applications for new domain name suffixes including:
- Amazon wants .author, .joy, .music, .app, .like
- Google wants 101 new suffixes including .love, .music, .app
- Apple wants .apple
- L’Oreal wants .beauty
- Other high demand domain name suffixes include .kids and .app (which has 13 bidders including Amazon and Google as listed above)
- Facebook Inc. and Ebay Inc. did not apply for any new suffixes
The organization that is in charge of internet addresses – the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers announced the proposals for Internet suffixes that met the May 30th deadline would be reviewed and this process could take months or years. Up to 1000 suffixes could be added each year to the internet.
For winners of their bids, the opportunity for new suffixes offers great benefits, while others will be left out, at a disadvantage, or have to spend money and time policing the internet to ensure their brand or logo is not being misused.
It will be interesting to follow this suffix saga and see which businesses and corporations end up the winners and losers of this new name game.