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Friday, January 14, 2011
Major Websites Commit to 24-Hour Test Flight for IPv6


Facebook, Google and Yahoo websites are joining major content delivery networks Akamai and Limelight Networks, and the Internet Society, for the first global-scale trial of the new Internet Protocol, IPv6.

On June 8, 2011, dubbed "World IPv6 Day," participants will enable IPv6 on their main services for 24 hours. With IPv4 addresses running out this year, the industry must act quickly to accelerate full IPv6 adoption or risk increased costs and limited functionality online for Internet users everywhere. The companies are coming together to help motivate organizations across the industry - Internet service providers, hardware manufacturers, operating system vendors and other web companies - to prepare their services for the transition.

The Internet Society, a non-profit organisation founded in 1992 to provide Internet-related standards, education and policy, is supporting World IPv6 Day as part of its efforts to accelerate IPv6 deployment.

IPv6, the successor to the protocol currently used on the Internet, was designed in the late 1990s but has not seen deployment on a global scale. With IPv4 address space running out, the industry cannot afford to wait much longer.

Google has offered a separate IPv6-only version of search on ipv6.google.com since early 2008, and during World IPv6 Day the company will enable IPv6 for its main websites, including www.google.com and www.youtube.com.

World IPv6 Day marks a key milestone in enabling more and more computers and smart phones to come online. IPv6 provides over four billion times more addresses than IPv4, which will help connect the billions of people not connected today.

Facebook views the rollout of IPv6 as a critically important step to keep the world connected. "As an industry, we?re working together to ensure future generations continue to have open and direct access to the Internet as we do today," said Jonathan Heiliger, Vice President of Technical Operations at Facebook. "The number of web-connected devices is exploding, and World IPv6 Day is a crucial step in ensuring they can all communicate."

One of the goals of World IPv6 Day is to expose potential issues under controlled conditions and address them as soon as possible. The vast majority of users should be able to access services as usual, but in rare cases, misconfigured or misbehaving network equipment, particularly in home networks, may impair access to participating websites during the trial. Current estimates are that 0.05% of users may experience such problems, but participating organizations will be working together with operating system manufacturers, home router vendors and ISPs to minimize the number of users affected. Participants will also be working together to provide tools to detect problems and offer suggested fixes in advance of the trial.


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