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Five Major Changes Facing the Internet in 2012

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Internet illustration

Credit: Progressive Proselytizing

The Internet will face several milestones this year as it undergoes a major technical upgrade, moving from Internet Protocol (IP) version 4 to version 6. This transition could result in major changes in both who operates the Internet infrastructure and how these operations are handled.

For example, the Internet's root servers may have a new operator. Instead of renewing the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers' (ICANN's) contract for the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority function, the U.S. government has opened up the bid to other organizations. In addition, a new company could operate the .com registry instead of Verisign, whose contract expires Nov. 30. Beginning Jan. 12, as many as 1,000 new top-level domains will start being introduced. If ICANN's attempt to expand the domain name space pans out, it could fundamentally change the way domain names are used.

Meanwhile, Europe is expected to run out of IPv4 addresses this year, and about 10,000 U.S. government Web sites must meet a Sept. 30 deadline to have all of its public-facing sites support IPv6. The move to IPv6, which is not backward compatible with IPv4, will pressure U.S. carriers and enterprises to upgrade their networks.

From Network World
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Abstracts Copyright © 2012 Information Inc., Bethesda, Maryland, USA


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