World Celebrates IPv6 Day as Companies Make the Switch

Companies began the first global IPv6 experiment at midnight in London on June 8 after months of preparation and anticipation.

More than 200 organizations around the world turned on IPv6 at 12 a.m. UTC on June 7 for the world's first mass test of the second-generation networking standard.

Participating Internet service providers, content management networks and Web companies switched to IPv6 networks for a 24-hour test to increase awareness as well as to work out the kinks in the protocol at 8 p.m. EST on June 7. Participating organizations are not limited to just technology companies, as government agencies, educational institutions and entertainment companies are also taking part, according to the Internet Society.

For most users, it is business as usual and nothing will be obviously different. For others trying out the latest thing in networking technology, it is quite entertaining.

Armed with a Windows 7 laptop with an IPv6 address, eWEEK started browsing the Web to see what was happening on World IPv6 Day. Instead of having some parts of the world start earlier or later than others, the switchover is happening more or less simultaneously, using London time as the cut-off point.

"Everyone is turning IPv6 on and off at the same time," Andy Champagne, engineering vice president at Akamai, told eWEEK.

Some companies appear to be having some fun with IPv6. Eagle-eyed Web surfers will notice that Facebook's address 2620:0:1:c18:0:face:b00c:: contains a misspelled version of its name (face:b00c). Cisco's 2001:420:80:1:c:15:c0:d07:f00d address reads "Cisco dog food." Dog food is a tech term to mean the company is using its own products.

While browsing for IPv6 Websites, what was more noteworthy were the number of major technology giants who chose not to enable IPv6 on their main Websites, such as Comcast, Intel, AMD and Apple. While Level 3 Communications, a Broomfield, Colo.-based Internet service provider who operates a Tier 1 network, had an IPv6 address, the site level3.com returned a "404 Not Found" page.

This article was originally published on 06-08-2011
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