The push to upgrade to the IPv6 communications protocol by the end of the year could leave millions of users without the ability to connect to the Internet, experts warn.
The protocol change may impair a large number of Internet users' access due to what is termed as "IPv6 brokenness".
"IPv6 experts say some Internet users will experience slowdowns or have trouble connecting to IPv6-enabled websites because they have misconfigured or misbehaving network equipment, primarily in their home networks. Corporate users also could experience IPv6 brokenness because of faulty firewall settings," according to an article on InfoWorld.
The Internet Society's estimates that about 0.05 percent of all users may be at least temporarily affected by the upgrade.
"A certain number of users do have IPv6 on their systems, but they have it configured in such a way that their system believes they have a working IPv6 Internet connection when in reality they don't. Or their website browser will prefer IPv6. This will result in timeouts that can be anywhere from 5 seconds to several minutes. From an end user's point of view, the first major website that goes dual-stack is going to appear broken while other websites will appear to be up," says Yahoo's Jason Fesler.
The Internet Society has scheduled an "IPv6 Day" on June 8th of this year to gauge the level of "brokenness". Yahoo, Google and Facebook are among the companies who have agreed to participate.
InfoWorld has provided the following resource to find out if your networks are ready for the transition to IPv6: Are your networks ready for the cutover to IPv6?