China's technology media reports have been awash this week with news that China might soon run out of Internet Protocol addresses, and therefore Chinese Internet users will lose their ability to get online. But now a new wave of reports say this is all exaggeration.
News reports emanating from the 2008 IP Address Resource Seminar held by the China Internet Network Information Center stated that because the current IPv4 addresses were limited and 80% of the final allocation IP addresses had been used, new Chinese netizens may not be able to gain normal access to the Internet by 2010.
However, a representative in charge of Chongqing's radio and TV broadband services told local media that while it is true that IPv4 address availability is diminishing, it will not lead to an impossibility of gaining Internet access for China's new netizens. Internet resources are not like natural resources which are non-renewable — they are man's creation and man has the power to create more IP addresses. Man has dominion over the lowly IP address, and the shortage can be resolved with current technologies.
Other news reports are seeking to quell the potential unrest of bits and bytes which might be upset by the lack of access. These Chinese news reports are saying that the shortage of IP addresses is mere speculation. In recent years, the equipment introduced in China's telecom industry can both support IPv4 and IPv6. Once the IPv4 addresses are not available, the operators will start to use the IPv6 addresses, so Chinese netizens do not need to worry about Internet access in China. The unfettered access to the Internet that Chinese netizens have always enjoyed should continue long into the future.
As an upgrade version of IPv4, the IPv6, which is the core of the next-generation Internet's technologies, can provide adequate IP addresses with an estimated allocation number of about one million addresses for each person around the world.