Last June 11, a coterie of Internet heavyweights performed a global test flight by configuring around 1000 sites to run IPv6 for a day – “World IPv6 Day”. Today, the same participants are sponsoring “Launch Day” under the catchy tagline “This time it is for real”, where they are uniting to permanently enable IPv6 for their products and services.
Lots of spin, but at least no one has claimed it influenced Wall Street’s big day today. Well, yet anyway.
TechTarget hosts a brief video from John Curran, who runs ARIN (American Registry for Internet Numbers), explaining the purpose of the event. The June 5th press release from the Internet Society reads as follows.
As leading websites, ISPs, and home router equipment manufacturers support IPv6 by default, it becomes the new normal for the Internet
[WASHINGTON, D.C. and GENEVA, Switzerland, 5 June 2012] – To ensure the Internet can continue to grow and connect billions more people and devices around the world, thousands of companies and millions of websites have now permanently enabled the next generation of Internet Protocol (IPv6) for their products and services. Participants in World IPv6 Launch include the four most visited websites in the world – Google, Facebook, YouTube, and Yahoo! – as well as home router manufacturers and Internet Service Providers in more than 100 countries. By making IPv6 the “new normal,” these companies are enabling millions of end users to enjoy its benefits without having to do anything themselves.
World IPv6 Launch is organized by the Internet Society as part of its mission to ensure that the Internet remains open and accessible for everyone – including the other five billion people not yet connected to the Internet. “The support of IPv6 from these thousands of organizations delivers a critical message to the world: IPv6 is not just a ‘nice to have’; it is ready for business today and will very soon be a ‘must have,’” said Leslie Daigle, Chief Internet Technology Officer, Internet Society. “We believe that the commitment of these companies to deploy IPv6 will ensure that they remain industry leaders. Any company wishing to be effective in the new Internet should do the same.”
The World IPv6 Day in 2011 was a 24-hour test that focused on websites. This year, World IPv6 Launch is a permanent commitment across the Internet industry, including ISPs and home networking equipment manufacturers around the world, laying the foundation to accelerate the deployment of IPv6 across the global Internet. Major websites are permanently enabling IPv6 starting 6 June 2012 at 0000 UTC on their main websites. ISPs will permanently enable IPv6 across a significant portion of their current and all new residential wireline subscribers. Home networking equipment manufacturers will enable IPv6 by default through their range of home router products, and recent commitments to IPv6 by companies beyond websites demonstrates a broader support of the new Internet Protocol.
This is imperative as the last blocks of the 4.3 billion IP addresses enabled by the current Internet Protocol (IPv4) were assigned to the Regional Internet Registries in February 2011. Already there is no remaining IPv4 address space to be distributed in the Asia Pacific region, and very soon the rest of the globe will follow. IPv4 address space is expected to run out in Europe this year, in the U.S. next year, and in Latin America and Africa in 2014. IPv6 provides more than 340 trillion, trillion, trillion addresses (an essentially unlimited number), which will help connect the billions of people that are not connected today, allow a wide range of devices to connect directly with one another, and help ensure the Internet can continue its current growth rate indefinitely.
For more information about World IPv6 Launch and the participating companies, as well as links to useful information for users and how other companies can participate in the continued deployment of IPv6, visit: http://www.worldipv6launch.org
About the need for IPv6
IPv4 has approximately four billion IP addresses (the sequence of numbers assigned to each Internet-connected device). The explosion in the number of people, devices, and web services on the Internet means that IPv4 is running out of space. IPv6, the next-generation Internet protocol which provides more than 340 trillion, trillion, trillion addresses, will connect the billions of people not connected today and will help ensure the Internet can continue its current growth rate indefinitely.
About the Internet Society
The Internet Society is the trusted independent source for Internet information and thought leadership from around the world. With its principled vision and substantial technological foundation, the Internet Society promotes open dialogue on Internet policy, technology, and future development among users, companies, governments, and other organizations. Working with its members and Chapters around the world, the Internet Society enables the continued evolution and growth of the Internet for everyone. For more information, visit www.internetsociety.org.
Supporting Quotes from World IPv6 Launch Participants:
“IPv6 is critical to the future of the Internet’s underlying architecture, and to supporting the billions of devices that will connect to the Internet over the coming years,” said Tom Leighton, chief scientist and co-founder, Akamai. “Having expanded our global IPv6 footprint to over 50 countries, Akamai enables Web sites to reach a growing audience over IPv6 with the performance and reliability that they have come to expect, and demand, from IPv4. We applaud the work of The Internet Society and so many of today’s businesses that have prepared for this important transition – ensuring the Internet remains a robust, collaborative, and infinitely accessible platform.”
“With ubiquitous IP connectivity becoming a reality, IPv6 is critical to ensuring applications and services can reach users anywhere they live and work. AT&T has been a leader in the transition to IPv6 for many years, and we’re excited to participate in World IPv6 Launch by enabling IPv6 by default for nearly one million of our broadband subscribers and dual-stack enabling our enterprise, consumer, and corporate websites and portals.” Krish Prabhu, President of AT&T Labs and Chief Technology Officer for AT&T
Bing for Microsoft
“World IPv6 Launch is a significant milestone in achieving the next generation of the Internet, and Bing is proud to have worked alongside so many dedicated industry leaders to make this day possible,” said Derrick Connell, corporate vice president of Bing for Microsoft. “All of us at Microsoft who have worked together with our industry partners to make World IPv6 Launch a reality look forward to advancing our work and support as IPv6 becomes adopted on a broader scale.”
Cisco SVP Engineering and General Manager Service Provider Business, Pankaj Patel, says, “The Internet has fueled remarkable economic growth and innovation that would have never happened without a network. Today, we face an explosion of connected devices moving data and content, especially video, and of applications and services coming from the Cloud. IPv6 enables the network — the platform on which innovation is built — to scale and make more growth more possible, today and into the future.”
“We at Comcast take great pride in being an innovator and technical leader. As a result of our team’s hard work, enabling IPv6 in over a third of our network, I am happy to report that by today we have exceeded our goal of 1% of our customer base being enabled with IPv6 for World IPv6 Launch! Thank you to the Internet Society and others for organizing and participating in this important event!” – John Schanz, Chief Network Officer, Comcast
“As more and more people and devices connect to the web, supporting IPv6 has become crucial to the future scalability of the Internet,” said Jay Parikh, Vice President of Infrastructure at Facebook. “It’s awesome to see so many people and companies working together across the world to make progress on this transition.”
“IPv6 is key to preserving the health and openness of the Internet for decades to come,” said Stephen Stuart, Distinguished Engineer at Google. “We’re proud to be one of the founding participants in World IPv6 Launch, and we look forward to the day when IPv6 is available to Internet users everywhere.”
“At Internode we are already using IPv6 (Internet Protocol version 6) to deliver Internet access to more than two per cent of our customers. During the past five years, Internode has acquired a great deal of understanding from deploying IPv6 on our national and international broadband networks, thereby providing a risk-free pathway for our customers when they use IPv6 and it is now ready for prime time,” said Internode founder and managing director Simon Hackett. “The most important lesson for Internode is that done right, customers will not even notice the change to IPv6. Internode commends the World IPv6 Launch as the time that website publishers, other Internet Service Providers and all companies manufacturing equipment for Internet access should also enable IPv6 access by default.”
“Yahoo! is proud to be part of this historic effort to transition to the next generation Internet Protocol. Together, we are helping ensure the long-term health and growth of the Internet, which has become a critical part of people’s lives around the globe.” – Jason Fesler, Distinguished Architect and IPv6 Evangelist, Yahoo!
Wende Cover, Internet Society
Federal agencies, of course, have a mandate to support IPv6 by fiscal year-end in less than four months.