6UK, an organisation set up to support UK ISPs’ migration to the new Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6) internet address standard, has shut down all its operations over lack of funding from the government.
The firm said in a statement that its board has determined that the organisation cannot fulfil its purpose and therefore the directors and all volunteers have resigned at AGM without seeking re-election.
"In the absence of nominations to the board, 6UK is to be wound up in accordance with its articles of association," the statement said. "From observing global IPv6 adoption patterns in recent times, one factor appears to dominate IPv6 adoption rates, namely government support. Countries with hands-off governments fall behind."
Established with £20,000 fund from the UK government’s Department for Business Innovation and Skills in 2010, 6UK attained support from associated organisations including Easynet, AAISP, Redstone, Timico, Fluidata, LINX and Ja.net.
According to 6UK, the UK is lagging behind its neighbours, similar economies, G20 and EU member states for implementing the new Internet protocol, IPv6. The Regional Internet Registry for Europe, the Middle East and parts of Central Asia began allotting IPv4 in September 2012.
The delay in the uptake of IPv6 could impact UK-based firms’ ability to compete internationally, reports have suggested.
A UK government spokeswoman told BBC that the Department for Business Innovation and Skills and the Department of Culture are committed to the development of an open internet and regard the use of IPv6 as one of the technologies which can make this possible".
"The expectation was that it would be able to find wider funding and create a central point for the stimulation of IPv6 in the UK," the spokeswoman said. "We regret that this has not happened. We will continue to explore with industry and other partners the need for IPv6 and relevant ways in which we may be able to assist."
IPv6 is the next generation protocol that offers a wider address space, enabling the Internet to grow to many billions of times over its current size.