The National Telecommunications and Information Administration today announced the completion of a workshop that addressed the expansion of the number of IP addresses on the Internet.
An IP address identifies a computer or other device that is connected to the Internet. The address is made up of 32 numbers which are written in groups of four numbers, each separated by periods.
The term “IP” refers to Internet protocol. Internet protocol is the language computers use to communicate on the Internet.
The current IP address numbering system, Internet Protocol version 4 (IPv4) will eventually run out of numbers. A new numbering system, Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6) is being proposed as a way to expand the number of IP addresses.
“IP addresses underpin and connect broadband and IP-based network infrastructures,” said Larry Strickland, Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Communications and Information. Mr. Strickland went on to say that without IP addresses, computers and smartphones could not be attached to the Internet; thus, the ability to route traffic to and from those devices would be negatively impacted. “As we move to a world where everything can be networked to everything else and all the innovation that will result, we need plenty of IP addresses,” Mr. Strickland said.