Some of the internet’s biggest companies are going to deliberately break their web sites for a day, for hundreds of thousands of users, in order to raise awareness of IPv6.
Google, Facebook and Yahoo are among the companies that will go into production with the protocol for 24 hours, starting at midnight UTC, June 8, for World IPv6 Day.
For the day, the companies will make their sites accessible using a dual stack of IPv4 and IPv6. Most users will be unaffected and will be able to access the services as normal.
But Google predicted on its blog that 0.05% of users may “experience connectivity problems, often due to misconfigured or misbehaving home network devices.”
Facebook purportedly has 500 million users, so presumably it’s expecting 250,000 of them to be cut off from its site for the day, with a corresponding dip in ad impressions and revenue.
World IPv6 Day is being overseen by the Internet Society. ICANN/IANA does not appear to have a role, despite it having global responsibility over IP address allocations.
ISOC’s site says:
The goal of the Test Drive Day is to motivate organizations across the industry – Internet service providers, hardware makers, operating system vendors and web companies – to prepare their services for IPv6 to ensure a successful transition as IPv4 addresses run out.
The IPv4 pool is estimated to be exhausted next month, when IANA allocates the final five /8 blocks to the Regional Internet Registries. The RIRs are expected to run out of addresses in November.
Not too long after that, IPv6 will be the only choice if you want to obtain IP addresses through official channels. If you want IPv4, you’ll have to head to the gray market.