Friday, 4 February 2011

What hope is there?

Someone from a major ISP says "Not true! There are no destination end points that are v6 only. Everything is dual stacked so that v4 can route to v6 addys"

They think all endpoints on the Internet can be accessed by IPv4!

As a statement it is simply not true! That is clear. There are endpoints on the Internet that are not accessible by IPv4 but are by IPv6. That is a simple FACT. I have a computer on my desk that is exactly that. It cannot be accessed by IPv4 no matter how hard you try.

The comment was made that they could do IPv6, and will when the need to. I said they need to as soon as one endpoint on the Internet is IPv6 only else they are not providing access to the whole Internet.

The idea that their customers may want to access a machine on some other site that is IPv6 connected only is beyond their comprehension (perhaps what IPv4 it has being NATed or proxied or they have NAT64). They seem to think that unless they can find some big web site that is IPv6 only then all is well. I suspect there are web sites in China already, catering for the local market where IPv6 has been in use for years. It will be interesting if people can find me some examples.

But even if what he says was true, in a matter of months, not years, there will be no more IPs at RIRs. With LIRs forced to forecast for 6 months and soon 3 months, they will soon follow the RIRs. There will be hosting companies even now that are restricting availability of IPv4 addresses knowing they will run out if they do not, and making IPv6 only web sites commercially sensible. Indeed, we expect to have some proper web sites on IPv6 only very soon, just to prove a point.

The time really has come.

If you are not providing IPv6 you are not providing a connection to "the Internet". Simple as that. The current Internet protocol is IPv6. It is not the new, or next generation, it is the current version. IPv4 has run out. All IANA IPv4 address blocks allocated.

If now is not the time to get their act together, will they ever? What exactly are they waiting for, and why? Saying they could do IPv6 now but don't need to yet is just mad, IMHO.


  1. Ever feel like you are dragging them kicking and screaming ??

  2. With articles like this one and this one out there, one would hope that big customers will soon be demanding IPv6 in a "supply it or lose business" manner.

  3. They're waiting for people like you to get all the kinks out and then they'll follow in your wake. :-)

    From my PoV developing lots of network-connected equipment, there has been exactly zero market demand for IPv6. None at all, no IPv6-related enquiry, ever. So, with a constant stream of requests for things people *do* want *right now*, it is not surprising that none of that kit supports IPv6 so far.

    None of that excuses stupid ISPs of course. If your entire business is based around moving IP packets, you really did ought to know something about it.