Internet Powers flip the Ipv6 swtich

The time for testing is over as Facebook, Cisco, Comcast, and others will soon permanently enable next-generation Internet technology with vastly more elbow room. What's it all mean?

What began as a 24-hour test a year ago will become business as usual on Wednesday as a range of big-name Internet companies permanently switch on the next-generation IPv6 networking technology.

And now there's no turning back.

"IPv6 is being enabled and kept on by more than 1,500 Web sites and ISPs in 22 countries," said Arbor Networks, a company that monitors global Internet traffic closely.

Internet Protocol version 6 has one big improvement over the prevailing IPv4 standard it's designed to supplant: room to grow. However, moving to IPv6 isn't simple, which is why many organizations on the Internet have banded together for Wednesday's World IPv6 Launch event overseen by a standards and advocacy group called the Internet Society.

In practice, IPv6 has been gradually arriving on the Net already, and there's a long way to go after the event. But the launch day is a real milestone. Here's a look at some of the issues involved.

Why all the IPvWhatever fuss? Read here


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