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The IPv6 Forum - a global consortium of vendors, ISPs and national research & Education networks - has launched an IPv6 education certification programme in a bid to address what it says is an IPv6 training infrastructure that is "way too embryonic to have any critical impact."

The Forum said: "It is estimated that some 20 million engineers are working on the current Internet worldwide at ISPs, corporate and all other public and private organisations and they will need quality training on IPv6. This is a gigantic task since it's the first upgrade of the Internet and most probably the last one for decades to come."

The IPv6 Forum's 'Education Logo Program' has as its prime objective is "to encourage and accelerate education on IPv6 and promote thereby swifter adoption of IPv6 in the education curriculum and programs of the universities, research institutes, vendors and training specialists."

The programme certifies and identifies courses, engineers and trainers with silver & gold logos and requires IPv6 implementation on the web site of the education programme.

IPv6 Forum chairman, Vint Cerf, said: "This program has been designed to prepare a wide range of players for the implementation and use of IPv6. It is intended as an aid to capacity building and a way to promote IPv6 awareness."

In making its assessment of the parlous state of IPv6 training, the Forum cites a study undertaken earlier this year by an organ of the European Union, the results of which were published in May.

According to Jacques Babot, IPv6 Team leader, European Commission - DG INFSO, Unit F4 New infrastructure paradigms and experimental facilities FIRE (Future Internet Research and Experiments). "The IPv6 Curriculum study has abundantly demonstrated that hands-on IPv6 skills and field experience are dearly missing. Achieving parity between IPv4 and IPv6 deployment, quality expertise is the one pillar to focus on."

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