World IPv6 Launch ushers in 'the new normal'


It may not come as much of a surprise, but the organization behind the World IPv6 Launch has declared the global event a success during which problems were minimal, as many Web sites, ISPs and home router vendors went live with permanent support for IPv6.


"Where we are now as compared to where we were about 48 hours ago is that the Internet is conducting normal business operations under IPv6," Leslie Daigle, Chief Internet Technology Officer at the Internet Society, said on a conference call this morning. "IPv6 is the new normal."

Daigle said more than 3,000 Web sites worldwide, more than 60 access providers and five major home router vendors participated the event. She acknowledged that the event marks just the beginning of a broader transition, in which users should be encouraged to find out if IPv6 is being supported by their providers.

The visual part of the conference call actually was carried out via Cisco Systems (Nasdaq: CSCO) Webex, with users on both IPv4 and IPv6. The company said Webex now supports IPv6 in a beta mode, which will be fully available later this year.

A Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) official said on the call that the company saw only minor connection problems, and was helping users with instances where broken connections were encountered.

The Internet Society said the four most-visited Web sites in the world--Google, Facebook (Nasdaq: FB), YouTube, and Yahoo! (Nasdaq: YHOO)--participated in the event, along with many service providers and other firms.  In moving to IPv6, they are able to tap into a virtually bottomless well of about 340 trillion IP addresses, compared to the 4 billion or so IPv4 addresses, most of which reportedly have been accounted for.

The last remaining blocks of IPv4 addresses are now being allocated by regional address authorities, the ISOC said. Those final address reserves already have been used up in the Asia-Pacific region, and are expected to run out in Europe later this year, in the U.S. next year, and in Latin America and Africa in 2014.

Many companies have been busy in recent days promoting their participation in World IPv6 Day, and nearly as many have been trying to measure the level or participation.

DNS vendor Nominum announced results of a survey of 67 ISPs around the world, which found that about 23 percent of them already have implemented IPv6. Another 35 percent responded that they plan to support it later this year, while 39 percent said it will happen for them in 2013 or later.

BT (NYSE: BT) also unveiled results of its own survey, with responses from 876 companies of various types. That survey found that 13 percent of respondents had already implemented IPv6, a number which may sound modest, but actually jumped from just 5 percent in 2011. The BT survey also found that another 44 percent of respondents said they would support IPv6 within the next two years.

Look for updates to this story later today.

For more:
 - here's the Internet Society statement
 - see this Nominum release on IPv6 survey results
 - check out BT's survey results

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