The Internet Is Almost Full

IP address shortage could be Y2K 2.0
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 13, 2010 10:00 AM CST
Soon the Internet may have to hang up one of these signs.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – Don’t panic or anything, but a massive crisis is looming with the potential to shut down the Internet. The world is on the verge of using up all 4.3 billion possible IP addresses, explains Thomas Weber of the Daily Beast—which means that effectively the Internet is running out of room to connect new devices. “We expect that sometime in the first half of next year, the central pool will run out,” says the CEO of the American Registry for Internet Numbers.

The tech world has already worked out a fix, creating a new IP address called IPv6. But rolling out the new protocol won’t be easy or cheap, so companies have incentive to wait until the last minute to do it. “Eventually, all of this will be solved,” predicts Weber. “The question is, how much pain will there be along the way?”

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