In case you weren't aware, the internet is quickly running out of IP addresses — the last addresses in Internet Protocol version 4 were officially distributed early in 2011. To keep up with the internet's explosive growth, the Internet Society announced that the switch will be flipped on IPv6 on June 6th, 2012. This comes about one year after a 24-hour IPv6 test, but this time it's staying on permanently. To go along with this announcement, a number of major ISPs, networking hardware manufacturers, and web companies pledged support from day one. For starters, four of the biggest web properties will all enable IPv6 permanantly: Google, Facebook, Microsoft Bing, and Yahoo. From a hardware perspective, Cisco and D-Link both committed to enabling IPv6 across their range of home products by June.

As for the ISPs, AT&T, Comcast, and Time Warner (among others) will enable IPv6 to enough of their customer base that at least one percent of their residential subscribers who visit participating websites do so through the new protocol. While one percent doesn't sound like much, the companies representing the IPv6 launch are some of the biggest players on the internet, and they all have a stake in its continued growth — we'd expect a number of other major companies to jump on board by the time June rolls around.