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Internet users concerned over lack of remaining IPv4 addresses

By Max Burkhalter
July 11, 2011
A new report from ISPreview found that 39 percent of consumer broadband users in the U.K. are concerned regarding the future of IPv4 addresses. While many organizations update their connections to the IPv6 standard, some are concerned that their internet service provider will not make the transition quickly enough.

While the report makes it clear that most internet users do not really understand the issues presented by a potential IPv4 shortfall, the possibility of latency issues could make the problems blatantly clear. According to the report, more than 40 percent of survey respondents were unaware of their ISP's IPv6 status. Moreover, 37 percent said they did not know if the hardware they used to access the web was compatible with IPv6.

"It's clear that most of the concerns surrounding this issue can be traced back to a simple lack of knowledge," Mark Jackson, ISPreview founder, said in a release. "Lately the media has been full of reports, many of which can be conflicting, about what the end of IPv4 could mean for the internet and its users."

Jackson went on to say that it's the responsibility of ISPs to ensure that their web connections are upgraded to avoid any potential issues. The role the web plays in modern business operations and everyday life places an especially high premium on ISPs' responsibility in providing reliable connectivity and educating customers and business about new hardware they may need to accommodate the transition or precautions necessary to avoid issues.

According to ISPreview, ISPs can implement dual-stack platforms to avoid most major problems. While the adjustment can prove pricey, it's necessary to make adjustments to ensure reliable, high-speed internet access is available. Eventually, the technology will not be necessary. However, until IPv6 is the norm and IPv4 officially retired, dual-stack platforms are critical.

ISPreview believes it's not enough for ISPs simply to make these adjustments. Informing users of the adjustments they are making, along with the type of hardware necessary for seamless transitions, is vitally important.

As businesses continue to increase their reliance on the internet, consistently reliable web access will become equally valuable. The use of cloud computing, which has continued to find its place in companies of all sizes, demonstrates the significance of reliable web access. According to market research firm Gartner, enterprise Software-as-as-Service deployments will grow by more than 20 percent this year, generating more than $12 billion in revenue for vendors.


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