15 September 2010

Organizations Urged to Stop Delaying IPv6 Deployment to Safeguard Future Growth of the Internet

  • European Commission funded survey finds 25% of ISPs now offer IPv6 services to consumers
  • Organizations recognize IPv6 helps them stay ahead of competition but misconceptions around the cost of deployment are delaying adoption

Vilnius, Lithuania, Internet Governance Forum, 15th September 2010 – The Number Resource Organization (NRO), the official representative of the five Regional Internet Registries (RIRs) that oversee the allocation of all Internet number resources, today unveils the findings of a global, independent survey into organizations’ IPv6 readiness. Funded by the European Commission and conducted by GNKS Consult and TNO, the study reveals that the majority of organizations are taking steps toward IPv6 deployment, as the IPv4 address pool continues to deplete rapidly.

IP addresses are critical for the operation of the Internet. Every Internet-enabled device needs an IP address to connect to the rest of the network. The biggest threat facing the Internet today is that less than 6% of the current form of IP addresses, IPv4, remains and the pool is likely to be completely depleted next year. This means that organizations need to adopt IPv6, the next-generation addressing protocol. There is a far larger pool of IPv6 addresses, allowing for more devices to connect to the Internet and helping to safeguard the sustainable growth of the Internet.

The survey, which polled over 1,500 organizations from 140 countries, highlights that organizations are increasingly aware of the need to deploy IPv6: approximately 84% already have IPv6 addresses or have considered requesting them from the RIRs. Only 16% of respondents have no plans to deploy IPv6 addresses.

The study also demonstrates that there are some misconceptions around the cost of adopting IPv6. Over half of all respondents noted that the cost of deployment was a major barrier for IPv6 adoption. While organizations might delay investing in IPv6, this may ultimately result in greater costs, with last-minute deployment and poor planning likely to increase the investment required.

Of the 84% of respondents that have requested IPv6 addresses or have considered doing so, three-quarters reported the need to stay ahead of competition as the main reason for IPv6 adoption. Half of these respondents also noted that a lack of available IPv4 space was a major driver for deployment. When asked about issues they had encountered when deploying IPv6:

  • 60% cited the lack of vendor support as a major barrier for deployment. However, most of the latest hardware and software support IPv6. The RIRs are strongly urging organizations to check with their suppliers to ensure that the technologies they use are IPv6 compatible.
  • 45% reported a struggle to find knowledgeable technical staff to support deployment. However, all five RIRs arrange technical training to facilitate an efficient IPv6 deployment, details of which can be accessed via the NRO website.

58% of all organizations polled were ISPs. It is likely that respondents to this survey are further ahead in IPv6 deployment than ISPs overall, but all organizations should ensure that their ISP offers or plans to offer services over IPv6. Out of the polled ISPs:

  • Approximately 60% already offer, or plan to offer within the next year, IPv6 to consumers.
  • 70% already offer, or plan to offer within the next year, IPv6 to businesses.
  • Only about 10% of polled ISPs have no plans to offer IPv6 to consumers or businesses.

Axel Pawlik, Chairman of the NRO, comments: “It’s great to see that as we move toward complete IPv4 exhaustion, more organizations worldwide are waking up to the need to adopt IPv6 and are sourcing IPv6 addresses from the RIRs.

“Yet there is still a distinct lack of Internet traffic over the next addressing protocol, with not enough ISPs offering IPv6 services and 30% of ISPs saying the proportion of this traffic is less than 0.5%. It’s critical that ISPs now take the next step in the global adoption effort by offering IPv6 services to their customers to help boost traffic over IPv6.”

Per Blixt, Head of Unit in the Information Society and Medias at the European Commission, says: “It’s encouraging to see that so many organizations have made IPv6 adoption their priority. Still, as the Internet becomes increasingly important for global socio-economic development, it’s critical that those who are still sitting on the fence act now on IPv6. Only by ensuring that all organizations adopt IPv6 can we ensure the sustainable growth of the digital economy worldwide.”

This survey is a follow-up to a study conducted in 2009 amongst organizations in Europe, Middle East and parts of Central Asia, as well as Asia Pacific; however this year’s survey polled organizations worldwide.

The full research report is available at: http://www.nro.net/documents/GlobalIPv6SurveySummaryv2.pdf

Notes to Editors

About the Number Resource Organization (NRO)

The NRO exists to protect the pool of unallocated Internet numbers (IP addresses and AS numbers) and serves as a coordinating mechanism for the five RIRs to act collectively on matters relating to the interests of RIRs. For further information, visit www.nro.net.

About the Regional Internet Registries (RIRs)

Regional Internet Registries (RIRs) are independent, not-for-profit membership organizations that support the infrastructure of the Internet through technical coordination. There are five RIRs in the world today. Currently, the Internet Assigned Numbers Association (IANA) allocates blocks of IP addresses and ASNs, known collectively as Internet number resources, to the RIRs, who then distribute them to their members within their own specific service regions. RIR members include Internet Service Providers (ISPs), telecommunications organizations, large corporations, governments, academic institutions, and industry stakeholders, including end users.

The RIR model of open, transparent participation has proven successful at responding to the rapidly changing Internet environment. Each RIR holds one to two open meetings per year, as well as facilitating online discussion by the community, to allow the open exchange of ideas from the technical community, the business sector, civil society, and government regulators.

The five RIRs are:

Each RIR performs a range of critical functions including,

  • The reliable and stable allocation of Internet number resources (IPv4, IPv6 and AS Number resources)
  • The responsible storage and maintenance of this registration data
  • The provision of an open, publicly accessible database where this data can be accessed
  • RIRs also provide a range of technical and coordination services for the Internet community.

MEDIA CONTACTS:

Number Resource Organization
Email: media@nro.net

Lucie Smith/Kersti Klami
Racepoint Group UK
Tel: +44(0)208 8811 2474
Email: ripencc@racepointgroup.com

Marissa Ramey
ARIN/Number Resource Organization (NRO)
Tel: +1.202.349.3788
Email: arin@lewispr.com

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