What’s Next With IPv6?

Burt Kaliski | Jun 08, 2012

World IPv6 Launch this week was a success in terms of raising awareness and activity around Internet Protocol Version 6 (IPv6).

Now that the big day is past, what’s next?

In one of my tweets on IPv6, I observed that there are enough IPv6 addresses that usage could double every year into the start of the next century without exhausting them all.  So I’m not too concerned now about what’s next after IPv6.

I am curious, however, about what’s next with IPv6.

The Internet Society hasn’t announced another IPv6 day in 2013, and probably doesn’t need one.  As I posted on CircleID, this week’s World IPv6 Launch was just the right thing  to “switch on” IPv6 support in numerous web sites, ISPs and home routers around the world, and to keep it on. 

As an early adopter of IPv6, Verisign’s “switch on” day goes as far back as 2004, when the name servers for .COM and .NET were IPv6-enabled. An even earlier milestone was in 2002 when the name servers began hosting AAAA records, enabling other early adopters to publish the IPv6 addresses for their own domains. 

Many more providers have enabled IPv6 over the subsequent decade, especially in the past year with the community-wide effort reaching a focal point.  There is no going back.  World IPv6 Launch clearly marks the end of the early adoption phase. 

But what about going forward?  Have we crossed Geoffrey Moore’s proverbial chasm into the early majority? 

With more than 2,000 websites, vendors and Internet service providers from more than 100 countries publicly committing to support IPv6 in perpetuity, there’s a good base of IPv6-enabled resources now, including enough major providers to tip the scales. But is there enough momentum to keep adoption growing fast enough as the Internet community moves past this week’s remarkable effort?  Is a “killer app” coming?  Does there need to be one?  Or is the “killing” of IPv4 address space still the main driver?  What’s next?

I've been operating an IPv6 tunnel successfully for a while and I must say that we really need another IPv6 day! There are barely any IPv6 websites that I can access. Even Facebook which is IPv6 enabled isn't v6-enabled for chat. The chat features need IPv4. The IPv6 days gave organizations worldwide goals. Everyone shared a date and then everyone celebrated. We need to keep having this celebration so that people can jump on the bandwagon sometime during the year, get ready for the big day, and then celebrate that they are now part of the IPv6 world!