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UK government slammed over slow IPv6 adoption

08 Dec 2012

A group dedicated to advocating IPv6 uptake in the UK has vowed to disband in frustration over slow adoption and poor government support.

6UK said that it would be winding down its operations due to what it sees as an inability to continue its effective advocacy of IPv6 transitions. The group's board will resign its positions and will not seek re-election, triggering protocol to shut down the programme.

In resigning, the all-volunteer board of directors said that the lack of government support had left it "powerless" to effectively advocate for the IPv6 switchover, leaving little choice but to wrap up its operations.

"Many factors impact the uptake of IPv6 and clearly free-market incentives are insufficient," the group said in announcing the move.

"Yet at a country level, delayed adoption significantly impacts national competitiveness, innovation and skills deleteriously. It may also hobble UK based companies facility to compete internationally."

The 6UK organisation was launched in 2010 as part of an effort to raise awareness of the looming switch from the IPv4 address protocol to the far-larger IPv6 system. Experts have long warned that the IPv4 system was running out of addresses and that the industry should move to the IPv6 protocol, which will allow for trillions of new addresses to be assigned.

While the project enjoyed early support from the government, board members said that officials in the UK have not been doing enough to support the switchover. This inactivity, they warned, has put the UK in danger of falling behind other nations.

"From observing global IPv6 adoption patterns in recent times, one factor appears to dominate IPv6 adoption rates, namely government support," 6UK said.

"Countries with hands-off governments fall behind."

The 6UK board included the likes of Nigel Titley, transit and peering strategy manager at ISP Easynet.

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Shaun Nichols

Shaun Nichols is the US correspondent for He has been with the company since 2006, originally joining as a news intern at the site's San Francisco offices.

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