ICANN Head Sounds Policy Alarm On Rapidly Shrinking Internet Space 29/01/2010 by Sharon McLoone for Intellectual Property Watch 1 Comment Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)WASHINGTON, DC – The internet’s technical governing body plans to make a push to educate the global users of the internet on the network’s latest generation technology known as IPv6, Rod Beckstrom, president and CEO of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), said this week. Less than 10 percent of internet addresses are available on the current IPv4 system – there’s only about 380 million IPv4 network addresses left and dropping quite quickly, he told the packed conference room on 27 January at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, DC. He anticipates it will be about 12 to 36 months before all of the remaining IPv4 addresses are allocated, but “there are more than enough IPv6 [addresses] to last for the foreseeable future,” he said in a speech that sometimes focused on the technical, but was also sprinkled with quotes from literary figures such as Victor Hugo, T.S. Eliot and Virginia Woolf. The uptake for systems to adopt the IPv6 technology is slow, he said, adding that below 2 to 3 percent of all systems in the world run IPv6 (the IP stands for internet protocol). “We’re going to have an education push [on IPv6],” Beckstrom said, adding that he expects the problem will solve itself as systems will have to migrate to IPv6. “Until you run out there’s not much incentive,” he said. “It’s really about upgrading software [and] retraining people.” He also asked the audience what is likely to happen when mankind has scarcity in a resource, answering that prices will go up. The demand for internet addresses is rapidly increasing as there are roughly 100 million new users to the internet every year, and about 11,000 people per hour log onto the internet for the first time. Beckstrom also said ICANN this year plans to focus on international domain names, new top-level domain names and a “whole set of security stability issues.” Philip Corwin, a partner at Washington, DC, lobbying firm Butera & Andrews, asked Beckstrom to comment on what Corwin called “the big controversy” over the new general top level domains. Beckstrom said top level domains were very important to the economy and that ICANN is taking new steps by offering new domain suffixes like .post, which would be a high security domain that only postal systems would be able to use. He said ICANN is looking at new approaches such as that one and that he would like to see more input from law and policymakers as to “where we go in the future.” Beckstrom added that many people have been asking him for ICANN’s opinion on the free-speech flap between Google and China and his response is: “It’s none of ICANN’s business.” Beckstrom looks at the internet as a three-layer cake: the bottom is pipes and plumbing like fibre optic and copper wires, ICANN is more engaged in the middle layer which is traffic and routing, and the top layer is about applications and data. The discussion about what China may have done is about the top layer and “ICANN is not engaged in that layer,” he said. Beckstrom also said in his speech that “China has 300 million users of the internet and it’s an important part of global fabric of domain name system.” Separately, ICANN appears to be ramping up its advocacy efforts in Washington. ICANN opened a DC office at the end of last year and on 25 January Jamie Hedlund began working out of that office to lead ICANN’s advocacy efforts in the US, Canada and Latin America. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Related Sharon McLoone may be reached at email@example.com."ICANN Head Sounds Policy Alarm On Rapidly Shrinking Internet Space" by Intellectual Property Watch is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.