Today is World IPv6 Launch Day.Today is the day that the global Internet gets redefined. Today is the day that people everywhere are saying "so what?" I imagine. However, not everyone is having a 'meh!' moment at the thought of IPv6 being officially launched. Take Jay Parikh, Vice President of Infrastructure at Facebook, who insists that "supporting IPv6 has become crucial to the future scalability of the Internet" and goes on to say that it's "awesome to see so many people and companies working together across the world to make progress on this transition".
But is IPv6, as the Internet Society insists, now the "new normal" for the Internet? Certainly as websites, ISPs and router manufacturers start supporting IPv6 by default, a process which one assumes is meant to happen from this day forth, that statement could make sense. For many people though, IPv6 adoption is as far off as ever. If you want to see whether your ISP is supporting IPv6, determine if you can access IPv6 only websites, simply navigate to the Test Your IPv6 Connectivity site.
The chances are pretty high that, for now, your test results will not be 'awesome' in regards to IPv6 connectivity but then neither is it 'critical' that they should be right now. It may be World IPv6 Launch Day but that doesn't mean that the Internet will somehow stop working from now on if you remain an IPv4 user for the foreseeable future.
The World IPv6 Launch Day has been organized by the Internet Society and acts as a permanent commitment across the Internet industry to accelerate the deployment of IPv6 across the Internet. As such, major websites are enabling IPv6 from today and ISPs will permanently enable IPv6 across a significant portion of their subscriber base. But what is the reality?
"IPv6 is critical to the future of the Internet’s underlying architecture, and to supporting the billions of devices that will connect to the Internet over the coming years” Tom Leighton, chief scientist and co-founder of Akamai which has a global IPv6 footprint in more than 50 countries. "With ubiquitous IP connectivity becoming a reality, IPv6 is critical to ensuring applications and services can reach users anywhere they live and work" states Krish Prabhu, President of AT&T Labs and Chief Technology Officer for AT&T which has enabled IPv6 by default for a million broadband subscribers. This level of excitement and hype is, perhaps, to be expected but it does rather bely the simple fact that for the vast majority of us IPv6 is still a pipe dream.
John Schanz, Chief Network Officer, Comcast gives us a glimpse of reality when he admits that despite enabling a third of the Comcast network it has only "exceeded our goal of 1% of our customer base being enabled with IPv6 for World IPv6 Launch!" which, if you ask me, is not something to get overly excited about.
Run that IPv6 connectivity test and report back to DaniWeb with the results. It will be interesting to see how many of our tech-savvy community are actually ready for the new normal...