Clock hands close to 12

Efforts to shift the internet to a new addressing system have been boosted by US internet service provider Comcast.

The firm has begun switching some customers over to a system built around the net’s new addressing scheme, called IP Version 6 (IPv6).

The change is needed because the older version has almost exhausted its pool of available addresses.

Some small UK ISPs have also begun putting domestic customers on a network that uses the new system.

Comcast is carrying out a trial in Pleasanton, California that willsee some customers in the town being connected to a network built around IPv6. To do this they will need home hardware that can handle IPv6 and its forerunner- IPv4.

Everything connected to the internet needs an address so data is sent to the right place. From the earliest days of the net, addresses have been pulled from the IPv4 pool which has about four billion numbers available.MORE