London 2012 needs IPv6 at the starting gun

Summary:There are sound reasons why the London 2012 Olympics must follow Beijing's example and implement an IPv6 infrastructure, says Axel Pawlik

China made its mark with its implementation of IPv6 for the Beijing 2008 Olympics. London needs to follow suit — for the good of its games and to help create an IPv6-ready infrastructure in the capital, says Axel Pawlik.

Earlier this summer, the Wimbledon quarter-finals triggered a 70-percent surge in UK internet traffic as the public watched matches online. The online viewing figures in August 2012 are expected to dwarf that Wimbledon surge, as millions around the world log on to watch the London Olympics.

With the opening ceremony just under a year away, there has been little mention of the IT network infrastructure in place to support operations and help broadcast the event to rest of the world. An up-to-date IT infrastructure offers great opportunity to show what can be done with IPv6, the new generation of internet protocol (IP) addresses, as we rapidly run out of IPv4, the original IP address standard.

London Olympic stadium

There are sound reasons why the London 2012 Olympics must follow Beijing's example and implement an IPv6 infrastructure, says Axel Pawlik. Photo credit: London 2012

The rapid depletion of IPv4 addresses in the region was the spur behind the China Next Generation Internet (CNGI) project's heavy investment in IPv6. The results of this investment were showcased at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. The Olympics website was hosted using IPv6 via a specific domain.

It didn't just stop at the website. Deployment of IPv6 was widespread in all related applications, from data networking and camera transmissions for sporting events, to civil applications, such as security systems, lighting and thermostats. Even the 15,000 taxis in Beijing were monitored by CNGI via IPv6 sensors so that traffic congestion was measured quickly and effectively relieved.

All network operations at the Beijing games were conducted using IPv6, which at the time made it the largest showcase of IPv6 technology since its inception.

Exhaustion of the IPv4 address resource

The Asia-Pacific region exhausted its IPv4 address resource earlier this year, and Europe is expected to be in the same situation very soon. It is expected that all regions may have completely exhausted IPv4 addresses by 2015, with Africa running out last.

London needs to follow Beijing's example and lead the way for the rest of world by implementing IPv6 to help raise awareness of this IP network issue among a global audience. It can be a springboard for...

Topics: Networking

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