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Virtual Fears?

A recent survey warns of a global Internet crash. Should we be worried, asks Himadree.

tech reviews Updated: Jul 19, 2008 11:21 IST
Himadree

No Internet. Anywhere in the world. Sounds nightmarish? If the results of a survey conducted by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, London, which predict that by 2011 the Internet will crash due to acute shortage in IP addresses, are to be believed, then your nightmare might just come true.

Let’s face it, we all depend hugely on the Internet today — from research to socialising to storing confidential data, it’s all on the net. Besides, were the Internet to crash, all web-reliant companies and digital businesses would come to a halt too. Tech geeks worldwide are predicting that if the freeway passages of the IP addresses are not restricted, the Internet might soon become an abyss.

With 85 percent of the addresses already allocated and the rest expected to be over in exactly three years from now, doomsday doesn’t seem far. So do we have reason to worry? Apparently not. Says David Appaswamy, chief communication officer, Sify Technologies Limited, “This is not going to happen. While it is true that IPv4 will run out of addresses by 2011, many companies, including ours, are already on IPv6, which has a near infinite number of addresses. What it means is that everyone will have to start moving to IPv6 capable networks. Ipv4 and IPv6 will work side by side, so there is absolutely no question of any crash.”

RS Mani, Sr. Technical Director at National Informatics Centre, echoes Appaswamy, and elaborates further, “I wouldn’t predict a crash, as IPv6 is coming up. There are two things that can make IPv6 a reality — the 60 million mobile users need to shift onto the updated version, and the broadband users as well. Till such time e-commerce doesn’t enforce IPv6 on the masses, the actualisation of IPv6 is not possible.”

You can let that breath out now, for life as we know it — Internet et al — will continue as usual.