Should we be panicking about IPv6?
This week's World IPv6 Launch event reminded us all that internet users should soon think about making the switch from the old form of web addresses.
Supplies of IPv4 addresses are almost completely exhausted in Europe, while the Asia Pacific Network Information Centre ran out of them in April 2011.
It's widely expected, therefore, that by next year, the vast majority of new internet services across Europe, Asia and North America will only be accessible from connections that have been upgraded to IPv6.
But should we be worried that we won't be able to use huge chunks of the web in the near future unless we quickly switch over to the new version of the Internet Protocol?
The latest BT Diamond IP IPv6 Industry Survey, published by the telecoms giant this week to tie in with World IPv6 Launch, suggests there's no need to panic quite yet.
Only 13 per cent of global organisations said they have already rolled out IPv6 across all or part of their network and less than half plan to do so in the next two years.
Furthermore, over one-fifth still believe there needs to be a stronger business case to highlight the return on investment of making the move.
If that's how major companies feel about the issue, then regular broadband users probably shouldn't start panicking about IPv6 just yet.
Virgin Media Business is among the organisations to play down fears about the "IPcalypse".
Matt McCloskey, head of applications and services at the business broadband provider, stressed in February 2011 that the internet is not in immediate danger of toppling over, despite widespread media reports to the contrary.
He stated that firms staying on IPv4 will not suddenly find themselves switched off from the web and insisted the new addresses will not create "old" and "new" forms of the internet.
"Like Y2K, the impact of IPv6 has been widely exaggerated," he said.
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