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Nearly a decade after IPv6 was finalized, the network industry has yet to embrace the new protocol. That’s because a forklift upgrade to IPv6 is too expensive and time consuming for a carrier or enterprise, with little measurable return. Instead, the network industry anticipates a gradual transition to IPv6, which will likely run side by side with IPv4 for many years to come.

Now it appears that IPv6 is finally winning this argument. The American Registry for Internet Numbers recommended in May that the Internet community start migrating to IPv6.

In fact, some industry experts predict that there are only around 1,200 days left until the Internet runs out of IPv4 addresses. Leading the charge to IPv6 is the U.S. federal government, which has mandated that all agencies support the new protocol in their backbone networks by June 2008.