Worldwide trial of Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6) has started with Australia among the first pacific nation to testing the new IP addresses.

The Internet Society of Australia, President Tony Hill told Australia’s ABC News “it has been a huge undertaking.”

Mr Hill and others involved in the trial are hoping internet users will not notice the difference.

“They expect that perhaps up to 0.05 per cent of users will have a problem because of that change,” he said.

“We hope not, but we need to test it and see that it’s not going to break the functions of the internet which people use every day.”

The limited number of internet addresses under the current system has been recognised as a problem since the 1980s.

Information Minister Datuk Seri Dr. Rais Yatim said Malaysia would exhausted its allocated pool of IPv4 in less than 18 months.

“For Malaysia to remain competitive, it is essential that we are IPv6 ready as soon as possible,” Rais said according to Bernama today.

The current IPv4, has a mere 4.3 billion addresses and has ran out in February worldwide. Malaysia hope to be completely on IPv6  which can accommodate more than 340 trillion IP addresses by 2012.

Countries such as Australia, Japan, Korea are almost at the end of the migration process and among the technology early adopters.