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On June 6th, World IPv6 Launch Will Change The World Forever

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World IPv6 Launch: This Time It’s For Real

The world will change significantly on June 6, 2012. That’s World IPv6 Launch, the day that, thanks to the hard work of the world’s leading content providers, Internet access providers and home equipment manufacturers, there will be real IPv6 traffic on the global Internet. And, it’s not just for a day — it’s forever.

Having seen content providers pass last year’s World IPv6 Day test flight with flying colours, we turned attention to the next hurdle: what would convince content providers and access providers that it was time to offer IPv6 as part of their “new normal” of Internet business? Content providers don’t need the operational overhead of supporting IPv6 on their services if no one is accessing the Internet over IPv6. Access providers don’t need to offer their customers IPv6 service if there’s nothing to connect to over it. It’s a classic “chicken and egg” situation.

Fortunately, there are some creative souls in the provider world who refuse to be locked in by such a conundrum. The deal is: participating access providers are rolling out IPv6 as part of their regular access offering on and after June 6, AND they will have enough of it in place by that date to have 1% of their network’s traffic to the participating content providers over IPv6.

So, 1% of some networks traffic over IPv6 after June 6 — not huge, from the outsider’s perspective, but still a significant milestone. It’s a base from which to grow. And, if nothing else, we’ve seen that the Internet does love to see things grow, once started.

I’m not going to make predictions of where IPv6 deployment will go next. Clearly, we’re not done relieving the pressure on IPv4 address run out and ensuring the continued ability to have a globally connected Internet. But, with real IPv6 connectivity happening, it’s reasonable and feasible to plan out new networks (e.g., sensor nets) and applications based on the expectation of that global addressing power. And that means we can start to dream up that Killer App to bring it home.


Leslie Daigle is the Chief Internet Technology Officer (CITO) of the Internet Society.


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