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China Opens Trial Network Based on Next-generation Internet Protocol

The China Education and Research Net 2 (CERNET2), a backbone network based on IPv6, the next-generation Internet protocol, was put on trial Friday.  

The network now connects three Chinese cities, Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou, with 6,000 km of optic fiber, so far the world's largest backbone network totally based on IPv6, said Wu Jianping, director of the CERNET network center.


More than 100 universities, including Peking University and Tsinghua University, are the first users of the network, he said.


By the end of this year CERNET2 is to cover 20 Chinese cities, he added.


The present Internet, adopting IPv4, a 32-digit format protocol, has had 70 percent of its IP addresses occupied and the rest will be run out by 2005, according to experts.


Under IPv6, a 128-digit format, the number of IP addresses will be virtually limitless, Wu said.


The United States has a large part of IP addresses now and Chinese users have found few left for them, he added.


China started to test an IPv6 network in 1998 two years after the United States launched its research project on next-generation Internet.


"The next-generation Internet will be faster, larger and safer than the present one," Wu said. "It will be 1,000 to 10,000 times faster than the present one."


China has an equal chance with the rest of the world to take part in the development of next-generation Internet considering its present financial and technological capability, Wu noted.


It has lagged behind in building the present Internet. The country built the first nationwide backbone network CERNET in 1994.


The development of the next-generation Internet will also shake both hardware and software industry monopolies and give chances to new companies, Wu said.


(Xinhua News Agency March 20, 2004)

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