"This next-generation version of the Internet Protocol, IPv6, provides trillions more addresses than the IPV4 system that is in use by most networks today," read a statement from ICANN, who has already begun adding the new addresses into the DNS root server system - a series of computers that administer the domain name "master list."
The need for a new IP system stems from a fear that due to the rapid growth of the Internet, numbers will soon become scarce, preventing individual people, companies, and even specific devices (such as a web enabled wireless surveillance camera) from having their own addresses. With IPv6, everyone can have their own IP address.
According to ICANN, "By taking this significant step forward in the transition to IPv6, ICANN is supporting the innovations through which the Internet evolves to meet the growing needs of a global economy."
US Internet expert John Klensin offered that "Every atom in the universe will now get an address. I don't see a problem with IPV6 running short of domain addresses." When asked about the development status of internationalized (non-English character set) domain names, Klensin cited difficult technical obstacles that hamper creating domain names and addresses using certain local languages or characters.
Currently, two country-code top level domains support IPv6: Japan (.jp) and Korea (.kr), with France (.fr) being the next country expected to implement IPv6 support.