IP switchover moves closer as World IPv6 Day announced

By Stuart Sumner
18 Jan 2012 View Comments
Internet cables

Leading internet service providers (ISPs), networking equipment manufacturers, and web companies have agreed to enable the IPv6 protocol on their products and services this summer.

The deadline, set for 6 June 2012, is to be known as World IPv6 day.

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Organised by the Internet Society, a non-profit organisation that champions internet issues, the day will see involvement from firms such as AT&T, Cisco, Facebook and Google.

Leslie Daigle, the Internet Society's chief internet technology officer, said that the commitment from these firms proves that the switchover to IPv6 is being taken seriously.

"The fact that leading companies across several industries are making significant commitments to participate in World IPv6 Launch is yet another indication that IPv6 is no longer a lab experiment; it's here and is an important next step in the internet's evolution," she said.

Since the IPv4 and IPv6 address ranges are not compatible, she emphasised the need for firms to adapt their own technologies to accommodate the new protocol.

"And, as there are more IPv6 services, it becomes increasingly important for companies to accelerate their own deployment plans," Daigle added.

ICANN, the international body responsible for IP addressing, handed out the last of the four billion IPv4 addresses last year.

The recent growth in internet-connected devices such as smartphones and tablets has been partly blamed for exhausating the remaining IPv4 range.

By contrast, the IPv6 protocol can accommodate over 340 trillion trillion trillion addresses. 

John Chambers, chairman and CEO at Cisco, welcomed the announcement.

"IPv6 is important to all of us. It is critical to the continued growth of the internet, bringing together people and devices around the globe."

ISPs participating in the day have committed to enabling one per cent of residential subscribers to visit participating websites via IPv6 addressing.

Networking equipment manufacturers Cisco and D-Link will enable IPv6 by default through the range of their home router products by 6 June.

And the involved web companies will enable IPv6 on their main websites permanently by the same date.

This accouncement follows the World IPv6 Day event held on 8 June 2011 in order to build awareness of the need for the new addressing protocol.

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