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IPv6 on the March

Mirjam Kühne — 25 Sep 2015
Tony Smith from APNIC is looking at the increase in IPv6 deployment now ARIN depleted their free pool of IPv4 addresses.


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.

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 recent blog post , Comcast’s John Brzozowski mentions that over 15 percent of their Internet traffic is now over IPv6, and that  tens of millions of cable modems  are being managed using IPv6 only (less than 5 percent of cable modems across their network rely on IPv4 today).

All 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, and so CloudFlare decided to investigate whether it was starting to make any impact on IPv6 preference.

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 organisation begun its IPv6 transition plan?



Bill Owens says:
25 Sep, 2015 02:44 PM
I've seen a couple of people confused about the changes that Apple has made with iOS 9 and IPv6, including this article. There are two things being conflated: iOS 9 has changed the algorithm for choosing between v4 and v6 from treating both equally to providing a small preference for v6, and at some point in the future the App Store will require IPv6 support for all apps so that iOS 9 devices will be capable of working in IPv6-only environments. The preference change should drive more IPv6 traffic, and early results indicate that this is happening. The details of the App Store change are apparently still being worked out, with Apple saying only that the requirement will go into effect "starting in early 2016."
Mirjam Kühne says:
29 Sep, 2015 10:13 AM
Thanks for clarifying, Bill.
Ross Chandler says:
04 Oct, 2015 12:00 PM
It might be worth pointing out that Mobile/3GPP deployment of IPv6 is also happening and might end up overtaking fixed deployment. Mobile handset turn over almost completely every 4 years. Android and Windows Phone are already completely IPv6 ready. The changes Apple are making to iOS 9 will have them ready for every major case except tethering of IPv4 traffic when the mobile device uses a single IPv6-only bearer connection (as used by 464XLAT/RFC6877).

All four major mobile operators in the US are already providing IPv6 Internet access. Two of them, Verizon Wireless and T-Mobile US, already have a majority of their subscribers with it. Several mobile operators in Europe are also providing IPv6 access.
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