The current stock of IPv4 addresses will be exhausted by 2010, "father of the internet" Vint Cerf has warned.
Now Google's chief internet evangelist, Cerf told ReadWriteWeb that running out of address space will prevent the internet from growing.
"We still have 80% of the world to connect," he said. "If we don't [adopt IPv6] this wonderful economic engine, wonderful world of information will simply stop getting bigger."
Google has already implemented many of its services and products with IPv6, running in parallel with IPv4, Cerf said, and he strongly urges everybody to do the same.
IPv4 is a 32-bit protocol, restricting the possible unique addresses to around 4.29 billion (232). By contrast, IPv6 uses 128 bit addresses, supporting 2128 addresses.
Cert co-designed the TCP/IP protocol while working as an assistant professor at Stanford between 1972 and 1976.