Forum discussion delivers context on IPv6 in the Asia Pacific

By on 19 Aug 2016

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At the recent Asia Pacific Internet Governance Forum (APrIGF) held in Taipei, Taiwan, I organized a session on IPv6 in the Asia Pacific region.

To improve IPv6 adoption there needs to be a coordinated effort by multiple players. The IGF seeks to provide a platform to raise awareness of the roles that different organizations can perform, including decisions makers and governments.

Because there has already been a Best Practices Forum on IPv6 in the global IGF in 2015, (as well as for 2016), which focused on the motivation of businesses and economies on IPv6 deployment, I wanted to instead use this session to discuss IPv6 from a regional perspective.

Although many of the speakers were familiar faces within the APNIC community, there was less focus on technical information, which is widely shared in existing technical forums. This meant there was information I was hearing for the first time, for example:

  • In India, network equipment is re-used in rural areas. Therefore, even if ISPs in major cities upgrade equipment to be IPv6 ready, there will need to be another cycle of upgrades to ensure IPv6 equipment reaches these rural areas.
  • Vietnam is experiencing rapid growth in IPv6 deployment in recent years with the government and local authorities working together to promote the protocol.
  • There was an interesting observation made (through KISA’s study of European IPv6 deployment cases) that countries with Network Operating Groups (NOGs) have a tendency to have high IPv6 deployment rates.
  • The Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications (MIC) of Japan published a report [PDF  1.3MB] this year, which focused on IPv6 deployment for mobile and IoT. It was developed by a Study Group comprising experts and industry players, and targets smartphone users to be able to access IPv6 as a default by 2017 (this was something I was aware of, but am sharing for your information).
  • A number of people agreed that many customers in their economies need to overcome additional hurdles if they want to connect to IPv6, including having to upgrade legacy customer equipment (even if infrastructure is ready), or having to take a lead and request IPv6 connectivity from their ISPs. This seems to be an ongoing issue that needs consideration from the broader community.

Part of the discussions in this session were fed into the Best Practices Forum on IPv6 in the global IGF, where there is currently a call for contributions for business case studies.  I encourage you to read the transcript of the session.

Upon returning to Japan, I asked Japanese participants for their reflections on the meeting. The speaker representing MIC at the session hoped the initiative in Japan was useful to other participants. At the same time, by seeing the statistics shared at the session, he noted that even though Japan’s IPv6 deployment is high in the region with regard to access lines, the amount of local content offered over IPv6 is relatively low. This is an area that Japan needs to work harder on.

I would like to thank all the speakers who contributed to the session. Please see the session overview for a list of their names.

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