Late last year a colleague quipped: you spent one third of your time on IPv6 this year, yet it still only generates 1% or so of the traffic. What are the chances of him uttering the same sentence coming December with IPv6 traffic still hovering barely over the one percent mark?

Discussions in the Belgian IPv6 Council mailing list in which I participate and Eric Vyncke’s tally of websites offering IPv6 access on his site led to the observation that Belgian content hosters should be targeted to see more IPv6 accessible content. Some of them lamented about the complexity and cost and the lack of demand, well honed arguments of procrastinators all over the world.

Then came a rather stunning e-mail from French hoster Gandi to their customers announcing that on january 6th IPv6 would be activated in autoconfiguration and that the customers’ server would inherit automatically and at no cost an IPv6 address! Customers could opt out if they did not want IPv6. Details on the IPv6 implementation can be found on their website. Congratulations, Gandi and thank you for dispelling the myth that making content IPv6 accessible has to be a formidable and titanic undertaking.

Adding fuel to the IPv6 accessible content cause, ISOC just announced that June 8th would be World IPv6 day with some of the major content providers and hosters on board including Google, Facebook, Yahoo, Akamai and Limelight . This IPv6 day follows in the footsteps of the experiment conducted by Heise in Germany last year. They are one of the biggest news sites in the country and made their site heise.de accessible in both v4 and v6 for 24 hours on September 15th 2010 to see if ‘brokeness’ would indeed create problems amongst their user base. The result was so positive that they decided to turn IPv6 access on permanently late September.

All of this bodes well for 2011. Some noticeable rise in IPv6 traffic will go a long way to silence these quipping colleagues every IPv6 proponent and advocate has faced over the years.

Written by Yves Poppe, Director, Business Development IP Strategy at Tata Communications