IPv6 on the March

By on 25 Sep 2015

Category: Tech matters

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ARIN’s announcement today that it has fully depleted its IPv4 stock would not come as a surprise to anyone in the networking community, but it is still a very important milestone in the Internet’s history. It has naturally created headlines across the world.

But while IPv4 has been hitting the news, it has also been a big week for IPv6 too, with real momentum brewing globally.

Let’s start in the APNIC region first. In India, the State of Kerala announced this week an invitation for tenders to help it transition its data centres and network infrastructure to IPv6. The news follows the Indian Government’s recent announcement to develop 100 “Smart Cities” across the nation by 2022. (APNIC’s Sunny Chendi visited Visakhapatanam in August, one of India’s cities vying to be the economy’s very first Smart City).

In Europe, BT announced that it expects its entire network to be running both IPv4 and IPv6 by the end of 2016. The company is now looking at the best way to transition its customers to IPv6-ready equipment in their homes to ensure they can use the new network – it said of its 7.8 million customers, 6.3 million will need to upgrade their hardware to use IPv6.  The same story noted that its rival Sky already had around one million customers using IPv6.

Over in the United States, one service provider that has completed its IPv6 deployment is Comcast. In a blog post today, Comcast’s John Brzozowski noted:

  • Today we have tens of millions of cable modems being managed using IPv6 only, less than 5 percent of cable modems across the Comcast network rely on IPv4 today.
  • Over 70 percent and growing of Comcast broadband customers, residential and commercial, are actively provisioned with IPv6 support today.
  • Well over 15 percent of Comcast’s Internet traffic is over IPv6.
  • The most popular Comcast Internet properties are currently enabled with dual stack support.
  • All of Comcast’s products and services have plans or have already begun preparations to support IPv6 only. Comcast’s next generation entertainment operating system, X1, is migrating to IPv6.

These are impressive IPv6 achievements.

Finally, a development which should help increase IPv6 preference globally was Apple’s release of its new mobile operating system, iOS9.  The new OS requires all apps to support IPv6 from early 2016, and even though that mandatory requirement doesn’t kick in for a few more months, CloudFlare decided to investigate whether it was starting to make any impact on IPv6 preference already.

Although it has only been a week since it was launched, CloudFlare found that IPv6 requests from iOS9 users had already increased by 1% compared to iOS8 users.

These developments around the globe continue to show the transition to IPv6 is gaining momentum. Google’s global IPv6 traffic measurements are now nudging 8.5%, almost double the amount 12 months earlier.

Has your organization begun its IPv6 transition plan?

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The views expressed by the authors of this blog are their own and do not necessarily reflect the views of APNIC. Please note a Code of Conduct applies to this blog.

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