Net address body disbands, condemns lack of government support

By Danny Palmer
10 Dec 2012 View Comments

6UK, the body set up to help UK organisations secure a competitive advantage through adopting Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6,) has disbanded citing government apathy to its work as the key reason.

The not-for-profit organisation was set up in April 2010 to aid the switchover from IPv4, capable of four billion web addresses, to IPv6, which can accommodate 40 trillion trillion trillion addresses. The move to IPv6 is seen as essential for the continued expansion of the internet.

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However, the 6UK board has resigned after claiming its work was almost pointless without official backing.

The UK government handed over £20,000 to help 6UK in April 2010, but the organisation said it has seen very little support since.

"The UK lags its neighbours, economies of similar size, G20 and EU member states when it comes to uptake of the new internet protocol, IPv6," read a statement on the 6UK website, which goes onto say non-adoption of the protocol will negatively impact the UK.

"Many factors impact the uptake of IPv6 and clearly free-market incentives are insufficient. Yet at a country level, delayed adoption significantly impacts national competitiveness, innovation and skills deleteriously. It may also hobble UK-based companies' facility to compete internationally."

A campaign saw ‘IPv6 launch day' occur in June, with internet IT firms including Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Yahoo, Cisco and AT&T advocating the switch. In the UK, however, there wasn't much activity on the day except by 6UK.

6UK said organisations must decide on the action they need to take to move over to IPv6.

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