China wants to leverage IPv6 (and probably a true broadband infrastructure in progress) into technological dominance over America and everyone else and worldwide control over the Internet.
IPv6 is an advanced Internet addressing plan under which anything anybody might conceivably want to plug into the Internet gets its own individual IP address, making it much simpler for devices to interconnect through the Net. Sound geeky? It is.
Meanwhile, in our corner, we've got a government pissing away our money (borrowed, but WE get to pay it back in Iraq and a Congress fighting about the terms (aka Net Neutrality) under which Hollywood and the telcos and cable companies get to control content on the US part of what's going to be "the old Internet" Real Soon Now
Fair use excerpts, rest at the URL.
China Builds a Better Internet
Americans have been hogging Internet addresses for decades, leaving
late-comers like China to divvy up the few remaining slivers. But
China is fighting back by vaulting to an addressing standard that
could rewrite the rules of the Internet—and business innovation—for
decades to come.
BY BEN WORTHEN
Meanwhile, out of sight, in research labs throughout China, engineers
are busy working on another project that the Chinese government plans
to unveil at the Olympics: China's Next Generation Internet (CNGI), a
faster, more secure, more mobile version of the current one.
CNGI is the centerpiece of China's plan to steal leadership away from
the United States in all things Internet and information technology.
The strategy, outlined in China's latest five-year plan, calls for
the country to transition its economy from one based almost entirely
on manufacturing to one that produces its own scientific and
technological breakthroughs—using a new and improved version of
today's dominant innovation platform, the Internet.
The technology at the heart of CNGI is an emerging communication
standard called Internet protocol version 6 (IPv6). The Internet
protocol is the Internet's version of a postal envelope, containing
information such as the destination and return addresses, and details
about a package's contents. The current standard, IPv4 (IPv5 never
made it out of the lab), doesn't have enough unique addresses for
every would-be user in the world to connect to the Internet.
[note: it isn't just would-be human users, IPv6 is intended to provide enough addresses to connect absolutely anything and everything anybody thinks might be more useful if it can be controlled or monitored via the Internet - A.Lizard]
solves this problem, and is also more secure and efficient than its
China is betting that by moving to the next-generation Internet
before the rest of the world, China's researchers, academics and
entrepreneurs will be the first ones to develop applications and
services that take advantage of the new capabilities. (China isn't
alone in this thinking. Japan and Korea have also launched national
initiatives to move to IPv6.) If all goes according to plan, those
services will be commercialized, making China home to the next wave
of eBays and Googles. But China is also working on ways to use IPv6
to enhance its now infamous control over Internet traffic into and
out of the country—which could have dramatic security implications
for the United States (see "A New Weapon for Control and
Call CNGI the first-mover advantage to end all first-mover
advantages. "[China is] looking to leapfrog the U.S.," says Michael
Gallagher, who was assistant secretary of commerce for communications
and information, and President Bush's top adviser on Internet issues
before joining the law firm Perkins Coie in February.
If the US is going to even stay competitive in the coming world, we not only have to keep up with China in the IPv6 game, we have to upgrade our communications infrastructure to where it is competitive with First World nations.
Americans think 1.5 megs up/ 384K down broadband is fast. The developed world has 10-100 mbps broadband. . . lots of things one can do with bigger "pipes" . . . and we can be sure that the nations with 2nd/3rd generation broadband will get them before we do.