A number of Australian companies are preparing to launch IPv6 services on their websites for 24 hours from 10am tomorrow on World IPv6 Day to encourage companies to start preparing for the switch to IPv6.
The last of the 4.3 billion Internet Protocol version 4 (IPv4) addresses were dished out in February this year, and it is expected that this supply will run out in the near future. As the number of people and devices connected to the internet continues to grow, it will be vital for the world to shift to IPv6 in order to cope with demand. To facilitate this shift, the Internet Society announced World IPv6 Day for 8 June as a worldwide trial of the new internet protocol with over 400 organisations signing up to make their websites IPv6 for 24 hours.
"We are increasingly reliant on the internet in every part of our lives today, and, unless we adopt IPv6, Australia will miss out on access to new services and be unable to reach vital markets across Asia and the rest of the world," Internet Society of Australia vice president Narelle Clark said. "We're especially excited this event is happening, as it is a crucial step in removing the uncertainty many service and content providers have had towards deployment of IPv6."
Global companies such as Facebook, Yahoo and Akamai have already agreed to take part, and internet giant Google posted a blog today stating it was switching almost all of its services over to IPv6 for tomorrow, including Gmail, YouTube and its search page. Google said that users who cannot connect via IPv6 will fall over to IPv4, but the company warned that it expects a 0.5 per cent failure rate for accessing IPv6 websites on the day.
This will be due to a number of factors including the operating systems used, the router the customer is using, as well as the customer's own ISP.
Here in Australia, internet service provider Internode has led the charge, allowing its ADSL customers to opt in to use IPv6 since 2009. Founder Simon Hackett said the use of "dual stacking" to assign internet users with both IPv4 and IPv6 addresses should ultimately make the transition to IPv6 relatively seamless.
"Done right, consumers don't notice IPv6. Internode has made sure our customers won't be disadvantaged through this large, significant change 'under the hood' of the internet, and we welcome a chance to show our customers how seamless IPv6 is with Internode even now, ahead of our official move to full production deployment later this year," he said in a statement. "Internode welcomes World IPv6 Day as an opportunity to demonstrate what it has achieved with IPv6 and to encourage our peers in the internet industry to explore and pursue IPv6 engagement as well."
iiNet has already flagged plans to move to IPv6 and said it will have an IPv6 version of its website up and running tomorrow.
Telstra, while not participating in the event tomorrow, told ZDNet Australia that it had recently begun implementing IPv6 on its network.
"Telstra is carefully managing IPv4 addresses within its allocation. Telstra has recently commenced implementing IPv6 into its network," the telco said in a statement. "This will be a phased introduction. We know that much of the existing equipment used by our customers is not IPv6 compatible, which is why Telstra will run both IPv4 and IPv6 together in dual-stack services until there is widespread penetration of IPv6-capable network infrastructure and customer equipment which may take several years."
The telco said it will first implement IPv6 for enterprise and wholesale customers over the next few years before moving on to consumers and mobile later down the track as IPv6 standards and technology mature.
Other Australian organisations such as the Bureau of Meteorology, AARNet and eintellego will all be participating in World IPv6 Day tomorrow. Optus was contacted for comment, but had not responded at the time of writing.