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Government supports adoption of Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6)

     The Government supports the adoption of Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6) and encourages organisations across the information and communications technology (ICT) sector to take early action to enable their services to support IPv6, a spokesman for the Office of the Government Chief Information Officer (OGCIO) said today (June 6).

     Computers, mobile phones, electronic devices and sensors that are connected to the Internet need a unique Internet Protocol (IP) address to identify themselves and communicate with each other. The IP addresses used predominantly on the Internet are based on a communication standard commonly known as Internet Protocol version 4 (IPv4). IPv4 has a practical limit on the total number of addresses that can be issued. This limit has recently been reached and the supply of unallocated IPv4 addresses is running out. Newly developed Internet services are gradually adopting a new communication standard known as IPv6 which has a much higher theoretical limit on the number of IP addresses. Public demand on accessing future Internet services using the new standard is expected to increase. However, services based on the IPv4 and IPv6 standards are not automatically compatible.

     "Under the Digital 21 Strategy, the Government has been adopting the IPv6 standard and promotes the gradual migration from IPv4 to IPv6 in Hong Kong," the spokesman said.

     Currently, the Internet infrastructure in Hong Kong already supports IPv6 and commercial IPv6-related services are beginning to be made available in the market.

     "The Government has enabled IPv6 support in its core Internet infrastructure. This means the public can access the IPv6-ready Government websites and exchange Internet e-mails with the Government using that standard. OGCIO has provided advice to bureaus and departments to facilitate transition of their IT systems and data to adopt the new standard," the spokesman said.

     To motivate organisations in the ICT industry to show their preparedness to move their services from IPv4 to IPv6, the international non-profit organisation Internet Society has designated June 8, 2011, as World IPv6 Day. It is a global initiative to test IPv6 readiness. Major Internet service and content providers and industry players will turn on the IPv6 capability on their main websites for 24 hours from 8am on June 8 to 8am on June 9 (Hong Kong time). While most Internet users should not expect major service degradation, a very small number of users may encounter slow responses or broken connections during the test period. If necessary, they may contact their Internet service providers for assistance.  

     For more information on IPv6 adoption, please visit OGCIO's website,

     For details on World IPv6 Day, please refer to the website

Ends/Monday, June 6, 2011
Issued at HKT 11:01


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