IPv6 – World IPv6 Launch Day is coming – June 6 2012

Last year brought us World IPv6 (test) day on June 8.  Dozens of content providers, network backbones and other technical groups came together to do a live test of IPv6 in production. Results were very good, and provided enough evidence that planning for a real, permanent cutover to full “dual stack” was practical.

However, there were enough issues that many of the participants took down their IPv6 sites after the experiment.

But this year, it’s gonna be real. June 6 2012 is World IPv6 Launch Day. The same big names and many other are participating. More importantly, some of the major providers of CPE (customer premise equipment) AKA “home routers” are committed as well.

Cisco and D-Link are committed to shipping “home equipment” with compliant IPv6 stacks and Ipv6 enabled by default by this date. Facebook, Google, Bing and Yahoo! will all permanently enable IPv6 for their main sites. In the US, AT&T, Comcast and Time-Warner will activate IPv6 for at “significant” portions of their home wireline customers.

And this time, it’s permanent. Unlike the 24 hour experiment last year, this is a permanent change. I expect that all the participants will have to shake out configuration issues and software bugs after the launch, but at least now they are committed to making IPv6 work for everyone, from now on.

The only thing that might make this better would be commitments from the operating system vendors. Apple, Microsoft and the Linux community already have known issues that will need to be addressed. Having the home router providers commit to some level of IPv6 support (firmware upgrades) for at least some currently shipping products would also be good, but I suspect they would rather sell new gear.

I’m not in any area served by any of those ISPs, so I’ll be keeping my tunnel to Hurricane Electric. But I look forward to seeing more big green 6’s in my browser bar after this summer.

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