08 Feb Fears for online retailers as internet addresses run out
Confusion reigned for online retailers as reports hit the world’s media that the internet is running out of new addresses.
As news broke that the last blocks of IPv4 addresses were being assigned to APNIC, the Regional Internet Registry which allocates IP and AS numbers in the Asia Pacific region, panic spread about how e-commerce might be affected if routers and certain digital devices ceased to function correctly using new IPv6 addresses.
Commentators have been left wondering if there is any real threat or could it be just another millennium bug-style false alarm. Thankfully, IT specialists have sought to allay fears by highlighting how ISPs could and should effectively cope with the change from IPv4 addresses to IPv6 as long as network servers and relevant software is updated.
Dr Tim Chown from Southampton University said, “As researchers begin to look into innovative new uses of Internet Protocols for networking billions of new types of devices, in the ‘Internet of Things’, a new, much larger addressing system for those devices will be vital.
The challenge over recent years has been for researchers, developers and vendors to standardise IPv6 and produce products that support its use – and most importantly to devise ways for IPv4 and IPv6 to coexist and work together on today’s Internet infrastructure, allowing IPv6 to be gradually introduced while IPv4 continues to operate.”
Head of IT at Born, Mike Page, commented, “The transition to IPv6 is vital for the future expansion of e-commerce. It will enable online retailers to continue buying new domain names and sell items on websites for a very long time to come.”