IPv6 Has Become Essential

27/10/2022

By Carlos Martínez, LACNIC CTO

When preparing the panel on IPv6: Past, Present and Future, in addition to the opinion of experts, we decided to add the point of view of our audience, both of those who were present on site as well as those participating remotely. With this in mind, we generated a dynamic word cloud which allowed us to take the temperature of what the public thinks about the protocol.

These were the results.

Essential. This word was the most prominent among those who joined us for the panel. As noted by Uesley Correa, the tutor of the IPv6 courses offered through the LACNIC Campus, IPv6 is essential because there is no other way forward. If we think about it, there is no other option: we must move faster as the quality of the Internet depends on the mass adoption of IPv6. Today, it is impossible to imagine living without it.

Likewise, some highlighted the concept of innovation.  One of the most important things that the Internet has given us with respect to other communication networks is the ability to innovate and provide new services on the network without having to ask for anyone’s permission.

In turn, panel member Douglas Fisher was happy that in the end IoT was also highlighted, as in his words, IPv6 is here to bring back the reality of the point-to-point Internet.

Inexhaustible and challenging were two other adjectives associated with IPv6 that also stood out in the word cloud built with the contributions of more than 400 participants. And viable, as statistics show that one in three people are already using the protocol. There is no going back.

In this sense, IPv6 deployment is the greatest example of a transformation at Internet scale. Unlike other protocols such as DNSSEC or RPKI that solve issues that are limited to a specific domain and lend themselves better to incremental deployment, IPv6 cuts across all Internet services and applications.

IPv6 Statistics. These large-scale transformations are necessarily community efforts. Each of us who operates a network has a share of responsibility. We all have a part to play.

IPv6 deployment levels in the region are significant, but not the ones we would like to see. It has taken us a long time.

Where are we today? What do the statistics tell us? The following chart shows the current status and evolution of IPv6 deployment.

While at first glance 35% sounds like — and is — a significant number, it also means that after a process of nearly 20 years, 65% of users in the region are still unable to access IPv6 content. The process has been slow and there is much we can learn from it. The time it has taken us to do this is longer than the entire previous history of the Internet.

Which were the first IPv6 assignments in the countries of the region?

IPv6 deployment is the greatest example of a transformation at Internet scale. Unlike other protocols such as DNSSEC or RPKI that solve issues that are limited to a specific domain and lend themselves better to incremental deployment, IPv6 cuts across all services and applications operating on the Internet.

These large-scale transformations are necessarily community efforts. Each of us who operates a network has a share of responsibility. We all have a part to play.

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