The time has come! World IPv6 Day starts Wednesday, June 8, 00:00 UTC. As we announced at the start of this year, World IPv6 Day is an important step in the future of the Internet: it’s the first global “test flight” of IPv6, the next-generation address format of the Internet. It’s also important for Facebook, as it will allow us to test our infrastructure more widely with minimal disruption to our service.

World IPv6 Day is a 24-hour test that will enable the industry to gain insights about potential IPv6 issues, find solutions, and accelerate global adoption of IPv6. We are working with our peers to keep the Internet open and make sure all computers and devices stay connected.

IPv6 is vital because the Internet’s original addressing system (IPv4) has run out of free space. Since every device on the Internet relies on a unique address to communicate, we must transition to IPv6 — which provides over 4 billion times more addresses than IPv4. IPv6 will ensure everyone (users, ISPs, governments, and companies) have direct and open access to the Internet.

Telecom carriers, ISPs, OS makers, hardware manufacturers, Web companies, and governments around the world are depending on IPv6 to continue growth of the Internet. IPv6 is used extensively in many large networks, but has never been enabled at a global scale.

Why It Matters to Facebook

World IPv6 Day will allow us to better understand how our infrastructure and code perform under IPv6 while minimizing impact on our users. Since January, we’ve conducted several studies and tests of our own and have gained even greater confidence that our site is ready for IPv6. We anticipate that 99.97% of users will not be affected at all. The small number of users who may be affected may find that pages are slow to load and we are working to minimize the impact.

Of course, we will be prepared to address any issues as they come up. Our Help Center has instructions and more information for users who may be affected.

We are encouraged by the overwhelming response of the hundreds of major organizations who have signed up to participate on World IPv6 Day.

Check back here June 9 to see how the test went.

Donn is a network engineer at Facebook who wants you all to know that there are more IPv6 addresses than grains of sand on the Earth’s beaches.

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