Major web companies celebrate World IPv6 Day

8 Jun 2011

Today is World IPv6 day and many major web companies, such as Google and Facebook, are offering content over the newer web addressing protocol for 24 hours.

The aim is to push organisations across the tech industry to prepare their services for IPv6.

The current web addressing protocol – IPv4 – is almost completely exhausted. As a result, major technology companies have been working behind the scenes for years to outline a clear path to the next-generation internet protocol, IPv6.

IPv6 will open a pool of internet address that is a billion-trillion times larger than the current 4.3bn-strong collection of IPv4 addresses.

The move will be essential in the future as the web continues to spread across other connected devices, such as smartphones and tablets. The complete transition could take years, but it is hoped end users will experience as little disruption as possible as it happens.

More than 400 companies, including Google, Facebook, Yahoo! and Microsoft Bing, will run their services over IPv6 addresses today to highlight the need to adopt the new protocol.

Most users won’t notice the change but Google has said 0.05pc of users may experience connectivity issues over all participating sites due to wrongly configured or “misbehaving” home networking equipment.