More Learning about China: IPv6 for the 2008 Olympics

Yesterday on CIO Magazine I read an article titled: China Builds a Better Internet which focuses on background issues and concerns as China’s Next Generation Internet (CGNI) project works to showcase a faster, more secure and more mobile internet at the 2008 Summer Olympics.  Read the full article here.  According to the article, the current internet standard is Internet Protocol network layer protocol version 4 (IPv4) “doesn’t have enough unique addresses for every would-be user in the world to connect tot the internet.”  On the other hand, IPv6 solves this problem. 

Initially I got the impression from the article that CGNI invented IPv6 (although the article did not specifically state this).  In order to satisfy my curiosity and to clarify any misunderstandings on my behalf, I researched  IPV6 on various sites including Wikipedia and Computer Weekly magazine in the UK.   I learned that IPv6 was invented at Xerox PARC in the USA and adopted by the Internet Engineering Task Force (which develops and promotes internet standards) in 1994. Some US Government agencies, including the Department of Defense, have set a deadline of 2008 for moving to IPv6 while China, Japan and Korea are all committed to it.   

IPv6 will reduce the cost of internet-enabling a vast number if internet devices.  So why then are many countries not jumping on the bandwagon to showcase IPv6?  Apparently the bottom line is that IPv6 will reduce the incremental revenue yield per customer and this will translates into smaller profits for internet providers.  What a dichotomy!  Let’s hope that China’s showcasing of IPV6 at the 2008 Olymoics will create such a groundswell of world-wide opinion that internet providers around the world will be “forced” to implement IPv6 networks that will definitely make applications such as virtual private networks, voice over IP, and peer-to-peer networking more powerful and manageable for consumers (the ones paying the bills!).

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One Response to “More Learning about China: IPv6 for the 2008 Olympics”

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