Politicos push IPv6 web protocol

The UK government and the European Commission have urged businesses to ensure they are IPv6 ready, as part of World IPv6 Day
Written by Tom Espiner, Contributor

The government and the European Commission have put their weight behind World IPv6 Day, once again urging businesses to adopt the new internet protocol.

Ed Vaizey

Communications minister Ed Vaizey, along with the government and the European Commission, has called on businesses to be ready for IPv6 . Photo credit: David Meyer

On Wednesday, communications minister Ed Vaizey held a meeting with a range of public- and private-sector bodies to get feedback on how the switchover from IPv4 is proceeding.

The meeting was held to coincide with a day of IPv6 performance testing and awareness raising by major internet companies such as Google and Facebook. IPv6 allows IP addresses on a much larger scale than its predecessor, making it a key technology as IPv4 addresses run out and as the number of devices connected to the internet increases.

"IPv6 is key to the continued growth of the internet," Vaizey said in a statement. "It is essential industry deals with the switchover before there is an impact on the internet."

Vaizey met with communications regulator Ofcom, service providers BT and Virgin, networking company Cisco Systems UK, regional internet registry Ripe NCC, .uk internet registry Nominet and technology industry bodies the Technology Strategy Board and Intellect. 

The same day, European digital agenda commissioner Neelie Kroes also urged businesses to adopt IPv6, while the European Commission made its Europa website accessible for IPv6 users as well as IPv4 users.

In a blog post, Kroes noted that the "practically unlimited" amount of addresses provided by the protocol will be needed to meet the "explosive growth" in fridges, cars and other household items designed to connect to the internet.

"Moving from IPv4 to IPv6 is therefore essential to let the internet evolve and create new apps and services," said Kroes. "It will offer many advantages including larger address space, support for new mobile and wireless services, and built-in security."

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