FAQ

What is World IPv6 Launch?
Organized by the Internet Society, World IPv6 Launch beginning on 6 June 2012 is intended to motivate organizations across the industry – including Internet service providers (ISPs), hardware makers, and web companies – to prepare for and permanently enable Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6) on their products and services as Internet Protocol version 4 (IPv4) address space runs out.

How is this different from World IPv6 Day?
World IPv6 Launch marks the largest industry commitment to and deployment of IPv6 in the history of the Internet, with ISPs, home networking equipment manufacturers and web companies around the world permanently enabling IPv6 within their products and services.

Specifically:

World IPv6 Day only involved websites. Major web companies and other industry participants successfully enabled and tested IPv6 on their main websites for 24 hours on World IPv6 Day, which was held on 8 June 2011.

Why only 1%? of residential wireline subscribers?
The World IPv6 Launch goal for ISPs is to reach 1%. In many cases, users may need to upgrade or replace hardware and software, such as operating systems or home routers, to use IPv6. Over time, as users upgrade, IPv6 adoption will increase without any changes in the ISP’s service or equipment.

What is IPv6 and why do we need it?
The Internet operates by transferring data between networks in packets. In order to communicate and send/receive packets of data, each host, computer or other device connected to the Internet must be identified by a unique IP address. IPv4 has approximately four billion IP addresses (the sequence of numbers assigned to each Internet-connected device). The explosion in the number of people, devices, and web services on the Internet means that IPv4 is running out of space. IPv6, the next-generation Internet protocol which provides more than 340 trillion, trillion, trillion addresses, will connect the billions of people not connected today, allow a huge range of devices to connect directly with one another, and help ensure the Internet can continue its current growth rate indefinitely. Both IPv4 and IPv6 (and many other protocols at the core of the Internet) were developed by the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF).

Why is World IPv6 Launch necessary?
The address space used by the current version of the Internet protocol, IPv4, is expected to run out in the next few years. Without action, we risk increased costs and limited functionality online for Internet users everywhere, in addition to curtailing the Internet’s growth of a platform for innovation and economic development. The only long-term solution to this problem is adoption of IPv6, which provides a practically unlimited number of addresses. IPv6 is used extensively in many large networks, and is increasingly being enabled for end users at a global scale.

World IPv6 Launch is helping industry stakeholders work together to support the new protocol on an accelerated timeline. With major ISPs, home equipment manufacturers, and web companies permanently enabling IPv6 by this the beginning World IPv6 Launch on 6 June 2012, other companies and organizations in the Internet industry are making a commitment to permanent deployment of IPv6.

How does World IPv6 Launch help motivate change?
World IPv6 Launch acts as a focal point to bring existing deployment efforts and industry players together, to work towards the common goal of permanently deploying IPv6 on the global Internet. By acting together on the World IPv6 Launch, ISPs, web companies, and equipment vendors are able to cooperatively address common challenges.

What still needs to happen for the entire industry to effectively deploy IPv6?
More major Internet industry players must take action to ensure a successful global deployment, including offering IPv6 connectivity to users, providing services over the IPv6 network, and updating software and firmware. While the technical foundations of IPv6 are well established, significant work remains to deploy IPv6 across the globe.

What can organizations do to join World IPv6 Launch?
We welcome additional participants to join this year’s World IPv6 Launch. Find out how to participate by visiting http://www.worldipv6launch.org

How will this impact my everyday Internet usage?
Most Internet users will not be affected. Internet users should enjoy uninterrupted service. In rare cases, users may still experience connectivity issues when visiting participating Websites. Users can visit an IPv6 test site to check if their connectivity will be impacted. If the test indicates a problem, they can disable IPv6 or ask their ISPs to help fix the problem. A more detailed network connectivity check is also available.

As ISPs enable IPv6, and home gateway products support it, users at home with modern operating systems and devices will start using IPv6 automatically. In particular, Windows Vista, Windows 7, and Mac OS X 10.7 support IPv6.

You can check your home router’s documentation to see if it support’s IPv6, and contact your ISP to ask if IPv6 is deployed in your service area.

It is important to note that participating websites will continue to support access over IPv4. You shouldn’t worry if you aren’t able to obtain access to the IPv6 Internet. World IPv6 Launch will simply introduce IPv6 in parallel to IPv4.

What can Internet users do to in conjunction with World IPv6 Launch?
As ISPs enable IPv6 and home gateway products support it, users at home with modern operating systems and devices will start using IPv6 automatically. The majority of users shouldn’t notice the increasing deployment at all. IPv4 access will still be available as companies permanently enable IPv6 on their products and services.

What are participating web companies doing to warn users and customers?
Last year, many of the participants in World IPv6 Day published warning information (including messages on their home pages) to users that they thought might suffer problems. Companies participating in World IPv6 Launch have taken steps to let users know what is going on, but reports so far indicate customers simply aren’t having difficulty with IPv6.

What can individuals do to support World IPv6 Launch?
Join the cause and spread the word by downloading and using the World IPv6 Launch badge: http://www.worldipv6launch.org/downloads

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