Wednesday 8th of June is World IPv6 Day which will see many major websites across the Internet turn on IPv6 to users for the first time for 24hours. It starts at 1am (midnight GMT) and will see the likes of Google, Facebook, Yahoo! and many other major organisations enable IPv6 on their websites. This will allow users who have IPv6 connectivity to connect to these websites over the new protocol. If you don't have IPv6 connectivity you shouldn't see any difference on World IPv6 Day, although there is a small chance (0.05%) of connectivity issues to sites who have enabled IPv6.
Whilst this may seem a bit of a fruitless operation, it is essential to motivate organisations in the industry to make sure they are ready both in terms of websites, hardware manufacturers, software vendors and network operators. The old IPv4 protocol is approaching the limit of its size, and as more people in the world come online, they will start to get online using IPv6. As adoption grows, we could see a split with those who are able to reach IPv6 parts of the Internet and those who can only reach IPv4. The test day will help companies identify and iron out any remaining problems that exist with IPv6.
Some have been providing access to IPv6 for a long time, and this includes ISPs in the UK such as those listed in our IPv6 guide. Some hardware manufacturers are also starting to pay attention, and Billion have announced that they have devices that are IPv6 ready available now.
"It's not just about a 24-hour test-flight of IPv6, Billion has the hardware available for customers and also leading ISPs have the broadband network available - so it's live and ready-to-run now. We will all have to start using it in the near future, that is clear - other countries are already using IPv6 as standard so we need to be ready."Edward Kung, (MD) Billion UK
In an ideal world, this should be a seamless transfer to IPv6 for end users, but they will need to ensure that their router and computer support it. We have various tools on our website so you can see how you are set for this, including our IPv6 readiness check and our IPv6 Speed Test which will test both your IPv4 and IPv6 speed for comparison.