Are Canadians Ready for the Next Internet? World IP v6 Day Puts Tech Companies, Consumers, Internet Providers on Notice

By: Lee Rickwood

June 8, 2011

By Lee Rickwood,

So, today is very important for tech consumers and gadget freaks, but also for small businesses, large corporations and global enterprises that use – or depend on – the Internet.

Know any of those?!?

IPv6 Test Flight logo

June 8 is the day we take a test flight on the New Internet.

It’s IPv6 Day today, June 8.

Around the world, more than 200 Internet companies and service providers are taking a giant leap in to the future.

For 24 hours, they will test the infrastructure of the next Internet.

It’s a stress test of sorts, and a wake-up call.

The need for an IPv6 day has been looming, and we’ve known that today’s Internet will run out of IP addresses for a long time.

Some Internet analysts and market economists worry we have left it too long. Protecting Internet access for Canadian consumers is one thing; protecting the Internet industry here is another point altogether.

And just about any business needs to ensure that its websites, customer portals and online services are accessible to their users with IPv6 addresses or new customers will not be able to find them online.

At some point, today’s entire Internet has to move to the newer IP space. Different protocols mean that computers with IPv4 addresses cannot communicate with those running IPv6 addresses.

But if IPv6 can solve the problem of a lack of addresses on the ‘Net, the problem now is getting everyone to adopt it.

Hence, IPv6 Day, a chance to make sure networks and services are accessible to users with IPv6 addresses, and that ISPs can handle the traffic. It’s also an awareness-building day.

In the U.S., Charter Communications, Comcast and Time Warner Cable are among the announced participants, along with other companies like Google, Yahoo and Facebook.

Earlier this week, Videotron became one of the first major ISPs in Canada to offer customers access to IPv6 addresses.  Some companies here, like Teksavvy, have been running IPv6 tests and ‘experimental trials’ for some time; others, like Bell, offer consulting services and resources in anticipation of wider roll-out and customer adoption in the future.

World IPv6 Day

World IPv6 Day is June 8, 2011

Videotron’s IPv6 addressing protocol is available to subscribers that have a compatible router that it started offering in January; registered Videotron customers can actively participate in World IPv6 Day.

“The rollout of the beta version of IPv6 will give early adopters a chance to get in on the ground floor,” said Pierre Roy, Videotron’s vice president of engineering, research and development. “IPv6 is an important development that will help keep the Internet as open and innovative as the technology permits.”

Videotron says it plans to gradually migrate all its customers over to IPv6, and that the new protocol will eventually become an integral part of its cable Internet access service.

Due to the amount of so-called peering, sub contracting or wholesaling of Internet services in Canada, it is possible that some ISPs are limited or enabled only by their own provider.

That complicates Ipv6 matters here in Canada, but it should stop them in their tracks.

A comprehensive set of recommendations was released up by the ICT Standards Advisory Council of Canada (ISACC) in a 66-page report unveiled last year, laying out a course of action for the new IP protocol adoption.

But you can just  feel the frustration and impatience the Council had back then over the delays or missed opportunities:

From the report:

“In recent years, many of Canada’s largest trading partners including the United States, the European Union, China, Japan, Korea and others have mandated the deployment of IPv6-capable devices for their networks. Additionally, some governments subsidized domestic research and/or procurement of IPv6 products.

Canada was an early mover on IPv6 in the early 2000’s and had several ‘firsts’, however its technology leadership has not been sustained.”

Not for lack of trying.

As one example there’s a company in Montréal, perhaps eager to bypass government lethargy, that’s very active in the IPv6 space, and it is offering consumer and industry solutions now.

Gogo6 has released a small v6 adaptor for the home that can be relatively easily installed, providing IPv6 within a minute.

gogo 6 IPv6 device

A consumer device for linking to the next Internet, using IPv6.

Designed to work with, rather than replace home networking equipment, the gogoCPE version 1.0 can be used to deploy IPv6 using IPv4 or to deploy IPv4 using IPv6 – both resulting in a dual-stack home network.

The gogoCPE is plug ‘n’ play simple and designed to be installed by the end user without support.

And regardless what day it is.

submitted by Lee Rickwood


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1 comment

  1.' Lee says:

    Some quick updates on the Day:

    The Internet Society’s Chief Technology Officer Leslie Daigle said the testing went well.

    The IPv6 was actually turned on around 8 p.m. the night before, she described, and the full event brought to a satisfying conclusion activities that had in fact begun several years ago.

    She also noted participation from many more organizations and companies than initially expected.

    Late the day, in a Canadian example, MTS Allstream’s announcement of its participation in the “test flight” landed, with word that the Manitoba-based telco was supporting IPv6 enabled organizations through connectivity tests now and eventually with dual stack or simultaneous support for connections using IPv4 or IPv6 conventions.

    And BlueCat Networks, the Toronto-based IP management solutions company, announced a North American IPv6 Roadshow to help organizations address the growing need for a transition to IPv6, and the role of IP Address Management in IPv6 planning and implementation.

    BlueCat Networks enabled IPv6 connectivity to its corporate site in advance of World IPv6 Day.

    With scheduled stops in 24 cities across the United States and Canada, the BlueCat Networks’ IPV Roadshow will kick off with a seminar in Toronto on June 14.

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