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BEIJING, June 9 (Xinhuanet) -- If you're wondering what IPv6 day is, stick around. IP is short for Internet Protocol, which assigns an address for each Internet users, just like every mobile user is identified by a number.

IPV 4 is the predecessor of IP VERSION 6, and it has experienced an address exhaustion, meaning no more numbers can be assigned to people. The updated version 6 is supposed to solve this problem by offering more Internet addresses.

Every computer linked to the Internet needs an IP address to connect. In China, there are roughly 500 million netizens, 20 percent of the world's total. This number is growing by an annual 19 percent.

However, each Chinese has just 0.24 IP on average, one twentieth of those in America. The lack of IP has become a bottleneck for Internet development in China.

Wu Hequan, director of China Next Generation Internet, said, "Without IP, you can not get authorization even it is connected physically. When we are trying to get on the Internet, it often takes longer time for us to get the IP. This will make trouble for netizens to use the Internet."

The IPV4 can only provide 4 billion IP addresses. With growing demand on Internet access, the IPV4 exhaustion is already on the horizon in the world. And the scarce has dealt the most severe blow to Chinese telecommunication operators.

Pan Guangliang, Asia-Pacific Network Information Center, said, "For the major three telecom operators, China Telecom, China Unicom and China Mobile, currently, they have some IPs, but very limited. By the end of this year, or early next year, they will have no more IPs for their new clients."

And now the deployment of IPv6 is the only available solution to the IPv address shortage. IPv6 can support trillions of addresses, and the analogy is that version 6 will allocate an IP to every sand on earth. But the implementation is not easy and needs government support.

"The Chinese government should make a clear timetable for IPV6, so that operators could adjust themselves. The authorities should also encourage governmental websites and other influential websites to use the IPV6 technology," said Wu.

So far, countries like the US, Japan and Singapore have started the transition from IPv4 to IPv6. China has put it in the twelfth five year plan, but still more effort is needed to make it work.
 

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