There’s a pretty fundamental change coming over the next several years in the way that information is sent through the Internet.
Today every Internet enabled device has a unique address that allows other computers connected to the Internet to find it and then to send information back and forth. These addresses are called Internet Protocol (IP) addresses, and are the foundation of how information is shared across the web.
The current addressing system, known as IPv4, had approximately 4.3 billion addresses available worldwide and is nearing exhaustion. Fortunately, a new type of addressing scheme has been created to provide enough device addresses to take us well into the future. IPv6 system provides 340 undecillion new addresses; enough for every person in the world to have thousands of Internet-enabled devices.
To prepare for the IPv4 to IPv6 conversion, websites and Internet providers are working to make sure that routers, modems and other information carrying equipment can read the new addresses. In the future, this may require a technology upgrade for customers. We’ll be keeping our customers informed through several channels and will share more about what we’re doing on the blog to make sure our customers make it through the transition smoothly.
In the meantime, every major company from Google to Great Plains Communications is working hard to make this transition as effortless as possible for the customer.