June 6 was perhaps the most important day in the history of the commercial internet, and hardly anyone noticed.
Google, Facebook, Yahoo!, and a host of the web’s most visited sites made the switch to the Internet Protocol Version 6 that day—known as World IPv6 Day—marking a momentous shift from the old protocol, IPv4, after it ran out of web addresses last year.
Colleges and universities have followed suit as well, turning to IPv6 after years of preparation on the part of campus technology leaders and their IT staffers, and so far, everything has gone smoothly.
Campus technology officials said students and faculty reported some difference in the speed of the campus network in the hours and days after the transition, likely because the IPv6-supported machines are using a far less congested network.
The absence of blaring headlines about internet slowdowns and outages was a decidedly good thing for campus technology officials who have made network alterations and hardware upgrades for years ahead of World IPv6 Day.