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IPv6 Adoption Still Shockingly Low Despite 20th Anniversary

The IPv6 specifications aren’t new on the block, in fact, the Internet Engineering Group and the Internet Engineering Task Force, IETF, officially announced the IPv6 specifications back in December 1995 which was 20 years ago by now. Despite its age, the IPv6 adoption rate is still shockingly low and only a few have embraced it so far.

It has long been known that we are running out of IPv4 addresses and most people connected to the internet these days are sent through internal ISP networks before ending up on a shared public IP address. It works, so why change it, right? Upgrading hardware will result in increased costs, which in effect could be moved onto the consumer. This is after all where the final bill usually ends.

When we take a look at Google’s statistics, we see that the global IPv6 IP address percent of all assigned addresses only accounts for about 10.41%, which only can be described as very little and a very slow growth since birth. So why is that you may ask? Well for starters, the two standards aren’t directly compatible with each other, but they aren’t incompatible either. You just need to create a setup that can handle both and all modern system can easily do that.

A few select ISPs have made the switch along with large companies like Google and Facebook, but other than that the adoption rate is sparse. Another possible reason for the lack of willingness by the ISPs to upgrade to IPv6 could be the benefits they have from the current setup. Increased income. Back in 2012 when the EU range of IPv4 addresses was exhausted, ISPs began to hike the prices for customers with static IP addresses. I know in my own case I got a 400% price increase just to keep my static IP address.

Maybe 2016 will be the year where IPv6 takes off, although I’m not holding my breath for it.

Bohs Hansen

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