IPv4 address exhaustion

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IPv4 address exhaustion

The continual depletion of Internet addresses that conform to the original 32-bit IPv4 addressing scheme. IPv4 provides 4.3 billion unique addresses, but they are rapidly being eliminated as remaining addresses are assigned to more and more organizations and devices that go online. The IPv6 128-bit addressing scheme provides "skintillions" of addresses. See IANA, IPv6 and IP address.
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Several international telecommunications service providers are beginning to deploy commercial IPv6 networks now, in advance of the anticipated IPv4 address shortage that will ultimately occur as the continued wave of Internet-ready appliances and devices are developed and introduced to the global marketplace.
It is predicted that the IPv4 address shortage will become critical by 2010.
A key next-generation technology, IPv6 will resolve the current chronic IPv4 address shortage by providing an infinite number of network addresses, which will allow customers to hook up a vast range of electronic appliances and equipment ranging from cellular phones, AV equipment and car navigation to home electronics.
IPv6 adoption is being fueled by the impending IPv4 address shortage, new applications such as multicast-based streaming video, EU legislation, and DoD mandate.