What is World IPv6 Day?
World IPv6 day, scheduled for 8 June 2011, is a global-scale test flight of IPv6 sponsored by the Internet Society. On World IPv6 Day, major web companies and other industry players will come together to enable IPv6 on their main websites for 24 hours. The goal is to motivate organizations across the industry — Internet service providers, hardware makers, operating system vendors and web companies — to prepare their services for IPv6 to ensure a successful transition as IPv4 address space runs out.
Click here to see the start time in your local area.
The address space used by the current version of the Internet protocol, IPv4, is expected to run out in 2011. Without action, we risk increased costs and limited functionality online for Internet users everywhere. The only long-term solution to this problem is adoption of IPv6, which provides over 4 billion times more space. IPv6 is used extensively in many large networks, but it has never been enabled at a global scale. World IPv6 Day will help industry players work together to support the new protocol on an accelerated timeline. With major web companies committing to enable IPv6 on their main websites, there are strong incentives for other industry players to ensure their systems are prepared for the transition.
How, specifically, does World IPv6 Day help motivate change and test the technology?
World IPv6 Day will act as a focal point to bring existing efforts together. For the first time, players from all parts of the industry will be be able to work towards the common goal of enabling IPv6 at a large scale with minimal disruption. By acting together, ISPs, web site operators, OS manufacturers, and equipment vendors will be able to address problems, such as IPv6 brokenness in home networks and incomplete IPv6 interconnection. Also, on the day itself, any global scalability problems can be found in a controlled fashion and resolved cooperatively.
What, specifically, still needs to happen for the industry to effectively transition to IPv6?
All major Internet industry players will need to take action to ensure a successful transition. For example:
- Internet service providers need to make IPv6 connectivity available to their users
- Web companies need to offer their services over IPv6
- Operating system makers may need to implement specific software updates
- Backbone providers may need to establish IPv6 peering with each other
- Hardware and home gateway manufacturers may need to update firmware
How will World IPv6 Day impact Internet users?
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.
What can Internet users do to get ready for World IPv6 Day?
Most Internet users will not be affected. Web services, Internet service providers, and OS manufacturers will be updating their systems to ensure Internet users enjoy uninterrupted service. In rare cases, users may still experience connectivity issues when visiting participating Websites. Users can visit an IPv6 test site to check if their connectivity will be impacted. If the test indicates a problem, they can disable IPv6 or ask their ISPs to help fix the problem.
What if I have a problem connecting to a participating web service. What can I do?
It’s very unlikely you will be impacted by IPv6 Day. Current estimates are that 0.05% of users may experience connectivity issues, and participating organizations will be working together with operating system manufacturers, home router vendors and ISPs to minimize the number of users affected. You can test your Internet connection ahead of IPv6 Day here. In the unlikely event you have problems on IPv6 Day, the best thing to do is to contact your ISP for support. In the coming months, participating organizations will be working together to publish help guides with more specific instructions for diagnosing and addressing potential issues.
What exactly needs to get fixed? Operating systems? Web browsers? Home routers? ISPs?
In some cases, it’s as simple as staying current with the latest updates to your operating system. In other cases, you may need to toggle a control panel setting or update the firmware (software) on your home router. If your ISP does not yet offer IPV6, and you are savvy with technology, see the 6to4 link page for recommendations.
No. Participating websites will not switch from IPv4 to IPv6, they will enable IPv6 in addition to IPv4. IPv4 access will still be available as usual.
One of the main purposes of the test flight is to enable website owners to assess the ability of end users to reach their websites. It is essential for websites to analyze impact before and after in order to make a longer term impact assessment and overall plan. This 24 hour period will help the Internet community continue to improve IPv6.
If you are planning to turn on IPv6 for access in your network in the interest of World IPv6 Day, please ensure your adds are completed well before the day (e.g., before May 31), and commit to leaving it active. Turning on IPv6 for only a brief period around June 8th will confuse measurements and not give a clear idea of the world’s readiness for IPv6 and IPv4 coexistence: it is therefore not a contribution to the effort.