With a clutch of pioneering countries rapidly adopting IPv6, the UK’s rate appears to be going nowhere, Akamai’s latest State of the Internet Report has revealed.

Currently, the world’s number one IPv6 hotspot is Belgium, which in Q3 of 2014 had a traffic percentage of 27 percent, ahead of Germany on 11 percent and the US on 9.5 percent.

A number of other European countries also performed well, including Switzerland, Luxembourg, Romania, the Czech Republic and France recording between around five and nine percent.

The UK? According to Akamai, the supposedly Internet-friendly online economy is stuck at a puny 0.1 percent, more or less where it’s been for the last year. Far from being an Internet leader, that puts the UK at 47th place in Akamai’s reckoning.

On the basis of those figures, the UK isn’t so much in the slow lane as the no lane.

Before critics point out that these are only figures from one firm, Google’s numbers bear out Akamai’s, showing the UK at around 0,2 percent, slight better perhaps but still far down on its immediate rivals. Again, Belgium scores well on 31.5 percent, ahead of the US on 13.9 percent and Germany on 13.6 percent.

According to Google, the total percentage of IPv6 globally is now somewhere around 5 percent and growing rapidly.

The secret to IPv6 adoption is not hard to figure out – big networks and ISP’s have to get down to supporting it. In Belgium it’s mainly down to broadband cable provider Telenet, in German Deutsche Telekom, while Comcast, Verizon Wireless and AT&T, and Time Warner all score well for the US.

In the UK, the relative stand-out was Telecity Redbus with just over 2 percent. Frankly, some US and European universities seem to be adopting IPv6 faster than large and hugely wealthy British Internet providers.

Experts debate how much this matters given that it’s early days for IPv6. But it’s not that early. One of the stories of this month’s CES Show has been the potential of the Internet of Things for the economies of the future. Without IPv6 investment soon that’s likely to stay on the show floor for non-adopters. Meanwhile, back in the world of IPv4, time is running out.

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