You may not have noticed, but the internet is running out of room.
Something that we’ve understood for several years now is that the addressing system we use for the internet, called IPv4, has a limit of about 4,000,000,000 (4 Billion) addresses. With computers, cell phones, ATMs and Televisions all going online we’ve got more than that many devices connected now, sharing addresses. But it’s been getting pretty cramped.
So today the rollout began of IPv6, which has 340,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 (340 Trillion Trillion Trillion) available addresses, which is enough to give everybody on earth a few billion unique IP addresses and should be enough for the foreseeable future.
This expansion is made possible by an incredibly high level of cooperative decision making and high quality coordinated work across highly competitive corporations, nations with divergent interests and even Governments doing their best at something that most of us will take for granted.
A huge problem that most of us didn’t even know about has been solved, and if everything goes well, you won’t notice a thing.
Check out this great video of Vint Cerf, Co-Father of the Internet, explaining how this went down.