Nobody Is Using IPv6

Arbor Networks found that almost nobody is using IPv6 (a peak of 0.012% to be exact). Not exactly shocking.

This is due to a chicken or the egg problem:

  • ISP’s don’t give out IPv6 addresses because the majority of their customers can’t handle it. Modern operating systems support IPv6, but these days most people use broadband routers, which only support IPv4. As a result most can’t use IPv6.
  • Hardware vendors that make routers and switches often don’t support IPv6 to keep costs low, and performance high. It’s not needed since most ISP’s don’t support it anyway, and that doesn’t look like it’s about to change anytime soon.

There are however a few ISP’s that have experimented with IPv6.

Of course another issue is that most websites don’t use IPv6, but I think that’s the easiest to fix. Since most servers are hosted in data centers with expensive routers that could be upgraded. Nobody bothers because it’s not much more than a novelty. Servers themselves use modern operating systems that can easily support IPv6.

So what will change this? A massive government push. Something along the lines of Digital TV transition. It would need to do the following:

  • Specify a date after which all hardware and software sold must be IPv6 compatible.
  • Specify a date after which all ISP’s with more than X customers, or a certain bandwidth level must support IPv6.

Unlike the Digital TV transition, there’s no real push to kill IPv4, so it wouldn’t be so bad if it died a natural death like Gopher and just became antiquated and disappeared. DTV is different since the space freed up can be auctioned for large sums of money, which is the real incentive for the switch anyway.

Will it happen? I doubt it.

The Olympics is available via IPv6 (more info here). China has a better IPv6 plan since their growing population means they see the need for more IP space. Not to mention the US has a much higher allocation than China.

The DoD as well as the US Government in general has been moving to IPv6, but they have yet to make any real push for the private sector.

Until the US Government realizes a push is necessary it’s not going to happen. To bad. I’d love to point a domain name at a toaster. I’d love even more to get rid of NATs, since they are a nightmare for software to work with.

10 thoughts on “Nobody Is Using IPv6

  1. Robert –

    The deployment is low because the principal problem addressed by IPv6 (IPv4 address depletion) hasn’t yet occurred. The unfortunate part about this situation is that while many carriers and ISP’s are working on IPv6 internally, it’s not going to be until we absolutely need IPv6 that most enterprises and end-users are going to hear about this major transition. The reality is that we can’t keep growing the network without doing this, so it will occur. Current timeline for IPv4 depletion is available here: ; we’ve got about 3 years left.


  2. There are no demand of IPv6 from the customers, and ISP’s will not provide that service until the IPv4 adresses are out of, that they will go to out at the market for hight prices, then ISP’s vill considering a migration to IPv6. I think we have to promote IPv6 more, without technical words and lift up all the benefits which even end users understand and provide practical user cases where IPV6 is better than IPv4.

    The promotion have to come to the same level so ordinary users can understand, and start asking for IPv6.

    One way could be to setup a ipv6 subdomain at your host and only letting people with IPv6 to access that site, where you have little more stuff, If everyone does that the demand for ipv6 will increase.

    I have done that. And hope that people starts asking what IPv6 is in my blog. I hope that i don’t have to mention it before people starts asking me.

    Something must happen soon. IPv6 have only come to techsavy people at the moment. Let’s bring IPv6 to the ordinary users, but do it nice with the end users will.

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  5. The problem with IPv6 is the perception people have of their networks. Under IPv4 people percieve that they are safe behind a NAT router/firewall and also that they pay for one public ip and their network behind the rouuter rides free.
    Unfortunately this is also how the greedy ISP’s see it and you can bet your very bottom dollar and your mortgage that the isp’s will charge for every single IPv6 address. Now that’s great if you have a few hundred million yen in your pocket but not so good for small companies. At the moment the best a company can do is run on a ipv4 router and tunnel to IPv6. This offers the best of both worlds.
    Also why dont greedy ISP’s and corporations give up the IPv4 addresses they dont use?
    so that we get more time to roll out IPV6
    There isnt the security hardware or software yet to cope with IPv6
    Its just greed urging people on

  6. The Internet has created its own Incumbents and its monopolists. They will be phased out if they sit on their lame hands. Normal users should never ask for an IPv6 address as they never asked for IPv4. ISPs are a bunch of losers in this respect.

  7. i think one of the big problems with IPv6 is that it is really complicated to learn, i tried and i still dont get it

    the main issue is re-education of millions of network engineers.

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  9. We are an ISP giant, our customer see IPv6 as a difficult thing to especially Ping and Traceroute when troubleshooting. Not everywhere is there a domain name attached. Customers are very reluctant to forget IPv4 even though they would like to have a fancy V6 address along with it – they’ll still use IPv4

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