Letters to the Editor - The Internet Protocol Journal - Volume 8, Number 4

A Pragmatic Report on IPv4 Address Space Consumption


Thanks for a great round up in IPJ Volume 8, No. 3 on IPv6. This really helps focus where the state of the discussion needs to be in terms of addressing IPv6 deployment. You might be interested to know that this edition of the IPJ received tremendous interest in the UK. Within 24 hours of it arriving on your website, it was being distributed widely by several mailing lists serving communities from the Ministry of Defence (MoD) to important communications industry membership organisations. I received it myself at least three times from different lists!

Over recent months, I’ve seen a continuing trend to try to sideline IPv6 as not relevant to a particular discussion. IPv6 is either too low level for applications providers to think about, or too far off, or doesn’t support some essential infrastructure service today. Some communities feel they have more than adequate IPv4 addresses to meet their foreseeable needs. These factors continue to drive debate on â€Å“if everâ€ï¿½ rather than on â€Å“whenâ€ï¿½ and â€Å“howâ€ï¿½ to deploy. That is, if the debate happens at all. All those who are investing in future IP-related services and networks need to read this edition of the Internet Protocol Journal for a reality check.

Tony Hain’s article provides a compelling addition to the work you’ve already published by Geoff Huston on the analysis of IP address allocation, and is important food for thought that I think justifies increasing the urgency with which IPv6 support is treated. The discussion you hosted between Tony, Geoff with John Klensin and Fred Baker I think dealt very clearly with why the debate needs to be focused on the how and the when rather than on the if.

In the UK, we are seeing some significant investments made to enable IP level infrastructure with the intent of delivering profoundly new services into the twenty-first century, but none of these major investments appears to have included a vision for IPv6. So I think the point that was made concerning the current failure in making like-for-like investment decisions between v4 and v6 is hugely important for Chief Information Officers and Chief Financial Officers to take to their boards, or we will continue to find people investing for the past, rather than as they apparently believe, their future.

—Christian de Larrinaga


The analysis undertaken by Tony Hain and debated by some recognised experts makes it abundantly clear that the deployment of IPv6 is an immediate natural growth path to sustainability and global mass-market penetration of the Internet, beyond its worldwide current rate of less than 15%.

Tony has presented his study in the recent IPv6 Forum Summits (Seoul, Taipei, San Jose and Canberra) and obviously took a lot of people by surprise as previous studies maintained the suspense that the deployment of IPv6 should be an incremental transition and not an imminent and real migration. It was therefore decided to responsibly and morally act on this and renew a global Call to Action to set 2008 as a milestone of inevitable smooth transition in a softer form as a Y2K or Yv4 (The Year when IPv4 addresses will become hard to get) and get engineers to plan for it.

A global worldwide press release was published October 11, 2005 and can be read on the web site of the IPv6 Forum:

The IPv6 Forum would like to recognise the work of The Internet Protocol Journal in watching diligently this space for the past couple of years and for initiating and orchestrating the constructive and consensual debate included at the end of the study, a contribution we trust is of great significance to the global good of the Internet.

—Latif Ladid, IPv6 Forum President

The Internet Protocol Journal

Ole J. Jacobsen, Editor and Publisher

Editorial Advisory Board

Dr. Vint Cerf, VP and Chief Internet Evangelist
Google Inc, USA

Dr. Jon Crowcroft, Marconi Professor of Communications Systems
University of Cambridge, England

David Farber
Distinguished Career Professor of Computer Science and Public Policy
Carnegie Mellon University, USA

Peter Löthberg, Network Architect
Stupi AB, Sweden

Dr. Jun Murai, Professor, WIDE Project
Keio University, Japan

Dr. Deepinder Sidhu, Professor, Computer Science & Electrical Engineering, University of Maryland, Baltimore County Director, Maryland Center for Telecommunications Research, USA

Pindar Wong, Chairman and President
VeriFi Limited, Hong Kong

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