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Industry pointing fingers as IPv6 adoption crawls forward

IPv6 stuck in a "bizarre chicken and egg situation," says ISOC president Narelle Clark

The Internet Society of Australia predicted “piecemeal improvements” to IPv6 adoption in 2013.

IPv6 provides about 340 undecillion IP addresses, compared to 4 billion addresses under IPv4. Exhaustion of IPv4 addresses has necessitated adoption of IPv6 addresses. When it came to IPv6 adoption, Australia was behind Azerbaijan and many Asian countries going into World IPv6 Day this past June.

However, ISOC-AU president Narelle Clark told Computerworld Australia of a “bizarre chicken and egg situation” where none of the pieces needed to push IPv6 along are moving.

“We are in the ridiculous position that the parties needed for trouble free IPv6 deployment are still looking at each other pointing the finger,” Clark said.

Equipment providers say there’s not a market, network providers say there’s no market and no content, and software developers say they can’t get a network service so they aren’t developing for IPv6, she said.

“Smart ones are continuing to deliver IPv6 in their products and they are the ones that will really have the jump on the market in the future.”

“Unfortunately for Australian business it means we are left behind further in the technology marketplace when we have had a traditionally strong position as early adopters.”

Adding to the problem are rising costs for IPv4 addresses, which have begun to be sold in a trading market, Clark said. “What has happened is that with scarcity, IPv4 addresses have taken on a financial value.”

IPv4 addresses are currently trading for about $10 per address on the open market, and there are medium-sized blocks up for sale, she said.

“If people don't start deploying IPv6 there are going to start to see costs come in as a result of IPv4 trading which has started in earnest,” she said.

Not all of the IPv4 blocks on the market are good, Clark said. “Some are blacklisted having been used heavily by spammers and the like and may be a lot of trouble.”

The Australian government had been moving slowly toward IPv6, but Clark said government departments “are improving their situation, with a lot of work going on internally that they should get some credit for.”

Follow Adam Bender on Twitter: @WatchAdam

Follow Computerworld Australia on Twitter: @ComputerworldAU, or take part in the Computerworld conversation on LinkedIn: Computerworld Australia

Join the CIO Australia group on LinkedIn. The group is open to CIOs, IT Directors, COOs, CTOs and senior IT managers.

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Tags: movement, IP address, ipv4, adoption, Australia, internet, transition, ipv6
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