Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : February 23rd 2014 Contents GERARD BEST
That s the harmless-sounding
code name being used in Latin
America and the Caribbean for an
operation set to take effect as soon
as the number of unallocated Inter-
net Protocol (IP) addresses falls
beneath two million.
IP addresses are foundational to
the Internet s existence. The Internet
works because every device that goes
online is assigned a unique address,
much in the same way that a person
has a passport, a car has a license
plate, or a telephone has a number.
An IP address is a form of unique
identification on the global network.
The system by which those
addresses are assigned is Internet
Protocol Version 4, or IPv4. The total
number of available addresses in
IPv4 is approximately 4.3 billion.
But the pool of free addresses is now
down to only some 20 million.
When the depletion of IPv4
addresses triggers the Soft Landing,
requests for the allocation of IP
addresses will be subject to additional
Not everyone who needs IPv4
addresses will be guaranteed to get
That depletion and inevitable
exhaustion is the reason for the
development and deployment of
IPv4 s successor protocol, IPv6.
LACNIC, one of the agencies that
allocates and administers IP address-
es in the Caribbean, is using the
code name Soft Landing to describe
the upcoming critical transition from
IPv4 to IPv6.
"This is no surprise. As early as
1995, there were already concerns
about the IP addresses running out,
and engineers realised that some-
thing needed to be done about it,"
said Carlos Martínez, LACNIC s chief
The creation of LACNIC and other
registries was one result of the global
process of administering the Inter-
net s limited pool of addresses that
When Martínez and Ernesto Majó,
LACNIC s communications and
external relations manager, spoke to
the Sunday Guardian last week, the
precise number of available IPv4
addresses in LACNIC s registry,
according to the live tracker on their
Web site, was 20,197,888, down
about one-third from 31,487,488 in
late October 2013.
"Between May to the beginning
of August could be the exact date
when those IP addresses run out,"
He was projecting the timeframe
for the exhaustion of the IP addresses
based on a trend analysis of the rate
"When IPv4 runs out, you even-
tually won t be able to connect new
devices to the Internet. It means that
during the Soft Landing period, we
won t be able to satisfy all requests
that people have," he said.
Accelerating IPv6 adoption
LACNIC s visit to T&T, from Feb-
ruary 17 to 19 was part of the organ-
isation s push to accelerate IPv6
deployment in the Caribbean.
"For Internet users, (IPv6) is not
a radical change in terms of how the
Internet works. However, for LAC-
NIC and the other registries, IPv6
provides a path to overcome the
problems associated with the
exhaustion of IP addresses," Martínez
The total number of IP addresses
available under the new system is
two to the 128th power, he said. By
one description, that order of mag-
nitude now makes an IP address
available for every grain of sand!
"More and more IPv6 addresses
are being deployed every day but it
will take a while before the whole
Internet runs on IPv6," Majó said.
"In Trinidad and Tobago, there is
an investment that our members
need to make in terms of upgrading
their infrastructure equipment,
changing their systems and most
importantly training their human
resources to be able to work with
the changes in policy."
IPv4 exhaustion and IPv6 deploy-
ment, Martínez said, will be "the
overarching issues" on the agenda
when LACNIC members gather in
Mexico from May 4 to 9 for LAC-
NIC21, its annual general assembly.
"There are two main issues. We
want to make sure that everyone is
on the same page regarding what is
going to happen when the free pool
falls beneath the two million marker.
"The other thing is to get our
members to take the recommended
steps to ensure that universal IPv6
deployment is accelerated."
Majó said there were some cultural
and linguistic challenges involved in
conducting the sensitisation cam-
paign in the Caribbean sub-region.
Headquartered in Montevideo,
LACNIC includes members mainly
from South and Central America.
Of its 3,300 members, only 70 are
from the Caribbean.
"We share the Caribbean with
ARIN, the American Registry for
Internet Numbers, which is based
in the United States," Majó explained.
"Our Caribbean members are
Haiti, Dominican Republic, Cuba,
Trinidad and Tobago, the former
Netherlands Antilles and Guyana.
They are really small in terms of
population and economy, as com-
pared to, say, Brazil and Argentina.
"We are trying to work with the
Union, the Caribbean Association
of National Telecommunications
Organisations, CaribNOG and other
regional partners because we do
recognise the need for greater out-
reach and communication.
"We also have created a vacancy
for an external relations officer for
the Caribbean," Majó said.
"We would definitely like to see
more representation from the
• Twitter: @GuardianTT • Web: guardian.co.tt
Credit Suisse Group AG
will pay US$196 million to
settle charges that it vio-
lated US securities law by
providing cross-border fi-
nancial services for US
clients without registering
The US Securities and
Exchange Commission say
the Swiss bank provided
these services to thousands
of US clients over a seven-
Regulators say the bank
began to curb this practice
in 2008 after a civil and
criminal investigation into
similar conduct by Swiss-
Following a US Depart-
ment of Justice criminal tax
investigation, UBS had for-
mally announced in 2008
that it would cease provid-
ing banking services to US
clients through its non-US
In 2009, US authorities
fined UBS US$780 million
for helping US citizens
avoid paying taxes.
The SEC said that while
Credit Suisse knew it was
violating securities law with
the disputed services, it
took the bank until 2013 to
exit the business com-
Credit Suisse to pay US$196m to settle charges
Caribbean prepares for Soft Landing
Pushing for IPv6 deployment...
LACNIC officials Ernesto Majó, communications and external relations manager, left, and Carlos Martínez, chief
technical officer at the Hyatt, Port-of-Spain.
"When IPv4 runs out, you
eventually won't be able
to connect new devices
to the Internet. It means
that during the Soft
Landing period, we won't
be able to satisfy all
requests that people
have," Martínez said.
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