The body that oversees Web site allocations globally has launched a new technology that will allow virtually unlimited Internet addresses, its chairman said yesterday.
Vinton Cerf of the Internet Corp. for Assigned Names and Numbers said the next-generation protocol, IPv6, had been added to its root server systems, making it possible for every person or device to have an Internet protocol address.
Rapid growth in the use of the World Wide Web has prompted concerns about future scarcity of domain addresses, with demand threatening to overload the existing system, IPv4.
"This is a big, big step," Cerf said, speaking on the sidelines of ICANN's annual conference in the Malaysian capital.
Cerf said about two-thirds of the 4.3 billion Internet addresses currently available were used up, adding IPv6 could magnify capacity by "25,000 trillion trillion times."
He said IPv6 would run parallel to IPv4 for about 20 years to ensure bugs were weeded out.