One of the country’s biggest Internet providers to businesses, independent ISPs, governments and consumers isn’t part of a global readiness test for the Ipv6 communications protocol.
BCE Inc.’s Bell Canada isn’t participating in World IPv6 Day (which started at 8 p.m. Tuesday and runs for 24 hours), a company spokesman said. No explanation was given.
On the other hand Telus Corp. and Rogers Communications Inc. will have at least one Web site set up to test for problems with their networks and interoperability with PCs and servers that connect to networks enabled with the older IPv4 protocol.
It isn’t known how many Canadian organizations will participate in the test. All they have to do is set up one Web site that can handle both IPv6 and IPv4 traffic in a dual-stack configuration, not enable their entire networks, and alert customers to test the site.
The goal is to test interoperability between the two protocols with hundreds of people who try to connect, discover any security problems and give an indication of whether the organization’s integration plan is sound.
IPv6 is needed because the Internet is running out of IP addresses that use the IPv4 standard. Toonk expects that in weeks the pool of IPv4 addresses will be depleted. IPv4 uses 32-bit addresses and can support 4.3 billion devices connected directly to the Internet. IPv6 uses 128-bit addresses and supports a virtually unlimited number of devices.
Andree Toonk, a network analyst with the BCNet research network in British Columbia who blogs regularly on IPv6 readiness, says the number of organizations who have started doing work is still small but growing.
“If you look at the routing tables of how many Canadian networks are v6 ready, it’s now at the 13 per cent level,” he said Tuesday. “That means that 13 per cent of the Canadian networks have an Ipv6 network that is routed. That doesn’t mean there’s any traffic on it, but that’s one of the first things you have to do.”
Many of those are university and research networks such as BCNet and CANARIE, but they also include startup carrier Wind Mobile, the Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA), Waterloo, Ont.-based traffic management equipment maker Sandvine Inc. and BlackBerry maker Research In Motion, which has a huge network of servers that runs its services for enterprise customers.
Hundreds of organizations are listed on the Internet Society’s participation page including giant content providers such as Google, Facebook, Yahoo and Akamai, but that’s only a list of organizations that have put their names there. Many others are just quietly participating.