Fremont, California - May 9, 2001 - Hurricane Electric, a leading Technical Service Provider, has announced that it will begin offering native IPv6 connections, the next generation Internet addressing protocol, to their customers, a decision that was propelled by the dwindling number of existing IPv4 addresses in the market.
The American Registry of Internet Numbers, ARIN, has allocated Hurricane Electric a /35 IPv6 address block, which is equal to 10 trillion trillion addresses, making them one of only 16 companies in North America to receive such an allotment.
IPv6 will also allow for better security and service over IPv4 with the integration of IPsec and QoS into the protocol.
IPv4, which was deployed in 1981 to designate static numbers to networks in the dawn of the Internet, only offers 4 billion addresses. The number of available IPv4 addresses has drastically fallen due to new developments, such as Internet capable PDA's and cell phones. Currently, over half of all IPv4 addresses have already been allocated to companies around the world.
With IPv6, the number of addresses drastically increases to over 340 trillion trillion trillion addresses, enough for each person in the world to be allocated 1 billion personal IP addresses.
In the past few weeks, Hurricane Electric has offered a free tunnel broker to the public through their website, http://ipv6tb.he.net, to increase the use and progression of IPv6, a 128-bit addressing system which, experts say, will eventually replace the current 32-bit addressing system, IPv4.
With hundreds of users so far, Hurricane Electric's tunnel broker has created a storm of IPv6 discussion and application. The tunnel broker allows users to encapsulate an IPv6 packet into an IPv4 packet and travel over existing routes, only to be delivered as an IPv6 packet at its destination point.
Peering with over 30 autonomous systems in the 6bone, a test bed for IPv6 development, Hurricane Electric has built a network of international native IPv6 routes in order for their customers to access the future of Internet addressing far ahead of other businesses.
Development of IPv6 has been pushed to the forefront in Europe and Asia, which were allocated a far less number of IPv4 addresses than the United States. Stanford University was allocated 17 million IPv4 addresses while the entire Republic of China was only given 9 million addresses.
IPv6 will enable all devices, such as cell phones, PDA's, televisions, and even refrigerators and other household appliances to have their own IP address instead of sharing off of a larger network. Eventually, this will make way for a refrigerator to automatically order groceries at any given time from an online vendor.
According to experts from the 6bone, IPv6 and IPv4 will more than likely coexist for some time before all addresses are switched over to the more efficient IPv6 system.
By 2005, an estimated 1 billion people will be using the Internet. This does not take into account the 200 percent annual increase of cell phones and other mobile device users, according to the United States Internet Council.