It's that magic one percent again.

Earlier this week I wrote about the one percent of websites using OpenDNS now, Ars Technica reports that one percent of the Internet is using IPv6. Again, it doesn't sound like a huge number but it's highly significant in terms of how the Internet's going to look in future.

For years, we've heard how the world is going to be dependent on IPv6 addresses for its future Internet needs and yet, for all the information disseminated by the Regional Internet Registries, the IETF and ICANN, there's been a reluctance to investigate IPv6.<

Not any longer it seems: as mentioned in the OpenDNS report, one percent of worldwide Internet users is a large number - about 18 million users - and we can certainly see some significant increases over the coming year.

Of course, the real driver has not been the propaganda exercises mounted by the interested parties mentioned above but the imminent shortage of IPv4 addresses. In January, it was reported that fewer than 10 percent of IPv4 addresses remained to be allocated and there's nothing like an impending crisis to tear up all pre-conceived ideas.  As Dr Johnson pointed out, when a man knows he is to be hanged in a fortnight, it concentrates his mind wonderfully, just as companies facing the end of IPv4 availability suddenly recognise its importance.

Vendors are recognising this growing interest and are looking to exploit it. Just in the last week, we've seen two initiatives from Comcast and A10 aimed at making it easier for ISPs and carriers to offer migration from IPv4 to IPv6.- this follows a similar launch from Blue Coat earlier this year. And as we discovered last month, many of the Internet's major websites are now taking steps to support IPv6.

There needs to be a lot more done though. Domain address availability is still seen as an issue for company geeks and not a problem for businesses as a whole. And it's still seen as something rather arcane - Virgin Media, the ISP I have to use (which has had no static IP addresses available for years) put out a statement on its website that "At this time we have no plans scheduled in to use ipv6." - which is rather worrying, given that the world's supply of v4 addresses is set to twindle to zero at some point next year.