I was chatting recently with Michael Vincent, an IPv6 savvy colleague, about worldwide IPv6 adoption, which despite the considerable press around World IPv6 Launch, is progressing at a snail’s pace. We lamented that while World IPv6 Launch provided great publicity around IPv4 exhaustion and the need for IPv6, the focus of IPv6 launch was on IPv6 deployment for the Internet supply side, i.e., websites. It’s absolutely wonderful that so many organizations have enabled IPv6 on their websites, but where are the IPv6 users, or the demand side?
As IPv4 addresses dwindle in supply, service providers will ultimately need to begin assigning IPv6 addresses to their mobile and broadband subscribers. Nevertheless despite a growing number of IPv6 Internet users, these users will expect and demand ubiquitous Internet access, which requires connectivity to IPv6 and IPv4 websites. Therefore, each service provider will need to accommodate this customer requirement by either assigning both an IPv6 and an IPv4 address in a dual stack configuration, at least until IPv4 addresses run out, or by deploying address translators within their networks to convert IPv6 packets into IPv4 packets to reach IPv4 destinations. [Read more...]