China Rolls Out Next-Generation Internet

Gretchen Gallen
BEIJING – In one of the first global moves toward the rollout of next-generation Internet, China announced plans Monday to unveil the China Education and Research Network, which is based on Internet Protocol Version 6 (IPv6) technology.

The rollout of CERNET2 will provide a greater number of IP addresses to China, which until now, was overshadowed by the United State's nearly 75 percent dominance over the world's web addresses. Upgrading to the new Internet standard will also create a ubiquitous network that allows devices to communicate more effectively and will connect 20 cities in China at speeds of 10 gigabites per second.

The current Internet protocol, IP version 4, only allows for 4 billion web addresses.

The adoption of the IPv6 standard is also expected to give way to a windfall of next-generation gadgets, mobile devices and computers that stand to benefit from IPv6's built-in encryption and "plug and play" configuration. IPv6 makes it possible for every home appliance or device to be given its own address.

CERNET2 cost the Chinese government more that $80 million. Equipment, including routers, was provided by Chinese telecom equipment giant Huawei Technologies and Tsinghua Bit-Way.

Early this year, a handful of Asian countries made the push for next-generation convergence. Japan, China, Taiwan and South Korea have all been leading forces behind the swift adoption of IPv6.

Japan's Nippon Telegraph and Telephon (NTT) and KDDI already have IPv6 backbones in place.