Global adoption of IPv6 is slow and shows few signs of accelerating soon. We look at the state of play on the ground in Australia, the UK and Asia, in a round-up from ZDNet reporters around the world.
In Australia, IPv6 adoption is almost non-existent, reports Josh Taylor.
"It's about as bad as everywhere else on the planet, I guess, with the single exception of Romania," Asia Pacific Network Information Centre's chief scientist, Geoff Huston, said in an interview with ZDNet Australia.
"Despite the best efforts of [internet service] providers like Internode, which as far as we can see has [some percent] of its customers able to use v6, everyone else in Australia is nowhere near it. Fractions of a percent."
Internode in January announced that it would enable IPv6 by default for all new Internode customers as part of the global push to get one percent of internet users on IPv6 by the middle of this year. Internode's outgoing managing director Simon Hackett said this week that Internode had doubled the global goal, with two percent of the ISP's customers on IPv6.
IPv6 adoption in Australia is slow to non-existent, experts have said. Image credit: Dan Breckwoldt/Shutterstock.com
"For end customers ... unless you're a customer of Internode and you bought a new DSL modem, it's likely that you can't do [IPv6] in any other form other than tunnelling, and tunnelling is pretty disastrous," Huston said.
In addition to Internode, The Internet Society of Australia president Narelle Clark called out alternate provider iiNet for its work in the area, and praised Telstra and Optus for enabling IPv6 for business customers while other service providers wait because they haven't seen it as a high priority yet.
The issue, according to Huston, is that many businesses and consumers buy their own network equipment, as is the case in other parts of the world.
Quite frankly, they don't buy v6 enabled ones because they cost more and nobody is telling them they have to.– Geoff Huston, APNIC
"Quite frankly, they don't buy v6 enabled ones because they cost more and nobody is telling them they have to," he said. "When it is working, why would you upgrade it?"
Clark agreed that it was difficult to see the need to change, but said it was necessary.
"We happily connected across IPv4 but we're sitting on this comfy couch, which has grown kind of small because the family has grown, and we need to throw this old couch out and get a new one," she said.
She was disappointed that universities and software companies had been behind in adopting IPv6, but praised the Australian Government Information Management Office, which is aiming to have all federal government agency systems IPv6-enabled by the end of 2012.
Huston said governments had an even bigger role to play; he believes that the government could regulate to prevent new DSL modems being sold that aren't IPv6-compatible.
"There is no point in selling a v4 modem, and it is almost a hoodwink to the poor old customer. Anyone who is buying equipment these days, if they don't get v6 in their equipment, they're wasting their money. The internet isn't going to work in v4 for much longer," he said.