The world will run out of Internet addresses "within weeks", according to one of the founding fathers of the web, a report said Friday.
Vint Cerf, who helped create the web by connecting computers using Internet Protocol (IP) addresses, said it was his "fault" that the 4.3 billion addresses created were running out, the Sydney Morning Herald reported. "I thought it was an experiment and I thought that 4.3 billion would be enough to do an experiment," Cerf, who is Google's vice president and "Chief Internet Evangelist", was quoted as saying in an interview. "Who the hell knew how much address space we needed?"
In 1977, Cerf created the web protocol IPv4, which connects computers globally, as part of an experiment while working with the US Department of Defense. He said he never expected his experiment "wouldn't end". "It doesn't mean the network stops, it just means you can't build it very well," Cerf said. IP addresses are the unique sequence of numbers assigned to each computer, website or other internet-connected devices. They are not the same as website domain names. The overwhelming number of devices now accessing the internet means the addresses are running out fast. To resolve the crisis, an updated protocol for the Internet, IPv6, currently being planned by the industry, will create trillions of addresses.