The Internet ran out of old-style addresses months ago, and the vast majority of consumers never even noticed. The Consumer Electronics Association has formed the IPv6 Transition Working Group to help make sure things stay that way. This is important to the entertainment industry’s continued growth into a future of content that is always available to consumers who expect to access it anywhere, any time and using the device of their choosing.

Chaired by John Brzozowski, chief architect, IPv6 and Distinguished Engineer, Comcast, the working group will coordinate consumer electronics manufacturers, service providers and retailers as the Internet transitions from IPv4 addressing to IPv6.

“If your company makes Internet products, provides Internet service to consumers or relies on the Internet for services like streaming content, you may be impacted by the IPv6 transition, and you should get involved in this working group,” said Brzozowski. “As part of a wider community of companies working on a successful transition to IPv6, Comcast is excited to lead this CEA effort involving manufacturers, retailers, and content providers.”

The last batch of IPv4 numbers was handed out earlier this year. The older ones use 32-bit numbers, the new ones use 128-bit numbers, and devices looking for one style address won’t be able to recognize the other style. It’s not a problem for consumers, but it could become one if professionals in the industry don’t keep up their hard work behind the scenes.

“Anticipating that the limited number of IPv4 addresses would run out, a replacement address system called IPv6 was created more than 10 years ago,” said Brian Markwalter, senior vice president of Research and Standards for CEA. “IPv6 has not been uniformly adopted to date, but as IPv4 addresses are running out – with the expectation that the U.S. will exhaust its supply by early- to mid-2012 – it’s time for industry to work together to ensure a seamless transition for businesses and consumers alike.”

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Photo by flickr user Josef Steufer, used under Creative Commons license

Graph courtesy of IPv6 Act Now. For an interactive version, click here.