China aims to become the leading player in the creation of the next generation of the Internet with the launch of an Internet Protocol version 6-based network linking 25 universities in 20 cities across China.
The China Education and Research Network Information Center (CERNIC) announced the Saturday launch of the network–called CERNET2–which is thought to be the largest single IPv6 network created. CERNIC claimed it makes China a world leader in the race to build the next generation of the Internet.
IPv6 exponentially increases the number of possible Internet protocol (IP) addresses. It was created and deployed in response to the fear that the existing Internet address pool could run dry within a few years as more people go online, especially as Web use in Asia rises sharply.
IPv4, the incumbent Internet protocol standard, gives its data packets just 32 bits of address space. By increasing this to 128 bits, IPv6 provides billions more IP addresses and allows many more devices to be simultaneously linked to the Internet.
Many network operators and equipment vendors are pushing IPv6. However, most companies have been reluctant to spend the money needed to make their networks IPv6-compatable by upgrading IP stacks on network gear, applications, PCs and servers.