Businesses alone are not doing enough to avert an impending shortage of Internet Protocol addresses, and governments must work with them to secure the future of the Internet economy, according to a report published Thursday by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). The number of IP addresses, needed for Web sites, servers, and PCs to communicate with one another over the Internet, is limited, and almost 85 percent of addresses are now in use. At the current rate of growth, the pool of available addresses will be exhausted by 2011. Fortunately, a solution to this problem has already been developed: a new version of the Internet Protocol, IPv6, which provides a far greater number of addresses. Adopting IPv6 means making extensive changes to networking hardware and software.
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