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Net authorities address URL shortfall

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By The Drum Team, Editorial

January 28, 2011 | 2 min read

Internet addresses are proving to be a commodity in increasingly short supply with reports that the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA), the central repository of all addresses, is to hand out its six remaining blocks of 16m locations in the next few days.

There are five regional bodies that oversee the distribution of net addresses, with the agency overseeing the Asia-Pacific region is said to be close to requesting one of these blocks in the next few days.

When that happens the remaining five blocks will be distributed automatically to each region at a formal ceremony expected to take place in mid March.

This exhaustion of remaining stock is likely to lead to lead to a dearth of new addresses by September 2011.

The IANA’s dilemma has its origins in the 1970s when the present Internet Protocol (IPv4) was devised; this set an upper limit of four billion unique addresses.

As a result a new addressing scheme (IPV6) is being drawn up which should solve the problem once and for all, it supports a mammoth 2128 addresses.

Image taken by Chris Dlugosz

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