IPv6 body calls it quits over lack of government support

IPv6 sign

The body tasked with overseeing the IPv4 to IPv6 network switchover has shut down, citing a lack of government support.

The not-for-profit 6UK group was started in 2010 to encourage businesses and organisations to move over to the new internet protocol.

The organisation said the board concluded that it could not fulfil its purpose, prompting its directors and volunteers to resign at its AGM without seeking re-election.

In the absence of nominations to the board, 6UK is to be wound up.

"In the absence of nominations to the board, 6UK is to be wound up in accordance with its articles of association," said the board in a statement.

"From observing global IPv6 adoption patterns in recent times, one factor appears to dominate IPv6 adoption rates, namely government support. Countries with hands-off governments fall behind."

The organisation was founded with 20,000 of funding from the UK government's Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.

The group also managed to get support from a number of tech companies including Easynet, AAISP, Redstone, Timico, Fluidata, LINX and Ja.net.

It claims the UK is lagging behind economies of similar size, as well as G20 and EU member states, when it comes to IPv6 adoption.

"This is of growing concern because the RIPE NCC (the Regional Internet Registry for Europe, the Middle East and parts of Central Asia) began to allocate its very last address space of the previous protocol, IPv4, in September this year," it said.

Free-market incentives were not enough and at a country level "delayed adoption significantly impacts national competitiveness, innovation and skills," the group claimed.

"It may also hobble UK based companies facility to compete internationally."

A spokesperson told the BBC there was an expectation that the organisation would "find wider funding and create a central point for the stimulation of IPv6" in the UK.

"We regret that this has not happened. We will continue to explore with industry and other partners the need for IPv6 and relevant ways in which we may be able to assist," she said.

Rene Millman

Rene Millman is a freelance writer and broadcaster who covers cybersecurity, AI, IoT, and the cloud. He also works as a contributing analyst at GigaOm and has previously worked as an analyst for Gartner covering the infrastructure market. He has made numerous television appearances to give his views and expertise on technology trends and companies that affect and shape our lives. You can follow Rene Millman on Twitter.