Australian group to lobby for IPv6

A new forum will attempt to boost the next-generation protocol's image and speed its adoption

A new IPv6 forum will be "soft-launched" at next week's IPv6 mini-conference, itself a prelude event to 2004 in Adelaide.

IPv6, or Internet Protocol version 6, is the next-generation Internet protocol. Currently, Internet data is transmitted over IPv4 connections. Concerns are mounting over the limitations of IPv4 -- particularly the increasing scarcity of IP addresses, which are the 32-bit numbers that act as online addresses for devices attached to the Internet.

Chairman of the soon-to-be-launched forum, Michael Biber, who is also the chair of the Australian Academic Research Network (AARNet), IPv6 working group, told ZDNet Australia that the forum's "unashamed" charter will be to boost the image of the new protocol and bring down barriers to its adoption.

"The role of the forum is unashamedly that of promoting the technology in a sensible way," he said, claiming that hype, and at times misinformation, had not helped the IPv6 cause.

While there is still work to be done on IPv6, Biber said that "some aspects of it are very much ready to go". Telstra has been experimenting with IPv6 technology since April last year, with Optus hot on its heels, he said.