IPv6 Deployment FAQs


1. What is IPv6?

To account for the massive expansion in Internet-enabled services and devices, a new system of addressing had to be introduced to ensure enough unique IP addresses were available. The Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) developed the new protocol, IPv6, which allows for 2128, or roughly 340 trillion trillion trillion, unique IP addresses. IPv6 addresses are 128-bit addresses, expressed in hexadecimal notation (for example: 2001:DB8:8::260:97ff:fe40:efab).

This huge number of addresses is expected to accommodate the predicted expansion of the Internet and Internet-related services well into the future. IPv6 was introduced in 1999 and has been in use ever since. This means that the core standards are stable and have been extensively tested in research and operational contexts.


2. What can I do?

  • Government organizations: Coordinate with industry to support and promote awareness and educational activities. Adopt regulatory and economic incentives to encourage IPv6 adoption. Require IPv6 compatibility in procurement procedures. Officially adopt IPv6 within your government agencies.
  • Broadband access providers: Your customers want access to the entire Internet, and this means IPv4 and IPv6 websites. Offering full access requires running IPv4/IPv6 transition services and is a significant engineering project. Multiple transition technologies are available, and each provider needs to make its own architectural decisions.
  • Internet service providers: Implement a plan that will allow your customers to connect to the Internet via IPv6 and IPv6/IPv4, not just IPv4. Businesses are beginning to ask for IPv6 over their existing Internet connections and for their co-located servers. Communicate with your peers and vendors about IPv6, and confirm their timelines for production IPv6 services.
  • Internet content providers: Content must be reachable to future Internet customers. Plan on serving content via IPv6 in addition to IPv4 as soon as possible.
  • Enterprise customers: Email, web, and application servers must be reachable via IPv6 in addition to IPv4. Open a dialogue with your ISP about providing IPv6 services. Each organization must decide on timelines, and investment level will vary.
  • Internet equipment vendors: There was probably limited demand for IPv6 in the past. Demand for IPv6 support will become mandatory very, very quickly. Introduce IPv6 support into your product cycle as soon as possible.

3. Where can I find out more?

Each Regional Internet Registry (RIR) works with stakeholders within its region to inform, educate and support IPv6 deployment locally:

AFRINIC’s IPv6 Programme
ARIN’s IPv6 Info Center
LACNIC’s IPv6 Portal
RIPE NCC’s IPv6 Info Centre




Last modified on 14/09/2021