The first global test of the IPv6 net addressing system will take place on June 8th, and Google, Facebook, Akamai and Yahoo will all be taking part, according to a report by the BBC.
It's been widely reported that the Internet is rapidly running out of addresses using the existing addressing system, IPv4. The estimate is that the current pool of addresses will run dry in November this year. IPv6 has been around now for a few years but has never been implemented on a global scale. The new system would give the world enough addresses to last many years to come.
"The good news is that internet users don't need to do anything special to prepare for World IPv6 Day" said Lorenzo Colitti, a network engineer at Google. "Our current measurements suggest that the vast majority (99.95%) of users will be unaffected. However, in rare cases, users may experience connectivity problems, often due to misconfigured or misbehaving home network devices."
The IPv6 day is being co-ordinated by the Internet Society which is a not-for-profit group that help educate individuals and businesses about Internet issues.
The aim is that all companies that sign up to the test will make all their pages available on the IPv6 system so that tests can be conducted and problems can be ironed out. Both Google and Facebook already offer IPv6 sites.
"By providing an opportunity for the Internet industry to collaborate to test IPv6 readiness we expect to lay the groundwork for large-scale IPv6 adoption and help make IPv6 ready for prime time." said Leslie Daigle, chief Internet technology officer at the Internet Society in a statement.
In November 2010 Vint Cerf, one of the fathers of the internet, warned that the net faced "turbulent times" if it did not move quickly to adopt IPv6.
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