The internet as we know it today was released in 1981. It was designed to support about 4 billion computers. We reached that limit on February 3rd, 2011, meaning no more computers are able to be directly connected to it. To fix this, a new version of the internet was developed called IPv6. It was released in 1998. Usage of IPv6 accounts for <1% of global internet traffic. IPv6 adoption has not matched the exponential growth associated with the IPv4 internet. This growth has instead been channeled into a workaround technology called NAT that extends the IPv4 internet. The cost of NAT is that it introduces inequality and makes the internet, a now critical economic resource, less accessible and fragile. This has a high impact in the developing world. This leads to the question: Is it possible the use of NAT will continue to grow unabated and that the IPv6 internet may never happen?


Uplink Aero is a networking innovation project focused on enabling connectivity and proximity applications to grow civil society.