Federal Internet Law & Policy
An Educational Project

IPv6 Transition

Dont be a FOOL; The Law is Not DIY

Internet Addresses
- History
- NTIA & Fed Activity
- Root Servers
- ccTLDs
- - .us
- -
- gTLDs
- - .gov
- - .edu
- - .mil
- - .xxx
- IP Numbers
- - IPv6
- NATs
- Ports
- Security
- Trademark
- AntiCybersquatter Consumer Protection Act
- Gripe Sites
- Truth in Domain Names
Telephone Addresses

Derived From: GAO, Internet Protocol version 6, Federal Agencies Need to Plan for Transition and Manage Security Risks, p. 21-22 (May 2005)

Transition of the Internet from IPv4 to IPv6 has been compared to the Y2K effort, demanding significant investment of resources and time in order to achieve. [Cook] Heretofore, the transition has been slow and controversial. [ICANN 10-07] Much like Y2K, companies do not necessarily recognize IPv4 number exhaustion as an immediate problem, and therefore are putting off the investment required into the future - with the risk that in the future (just like Y2K), there may be insufficient time for remediation and remediation may be more expensive.

IPv4 and IPv6 are different numbering protocols. IPv6 is not backward compatible with IPv4. This means that during the transition, the network will utilize two fully distinct addressing schemes. [Bush slide 7] It is likely that IPv4 numbering were remain a legacy in the network for a good time into the future. [ICANN 10-07]

Partial list of equipment that will need to be transitioned include


Various transition methods exist to ensure that a computer running IPv6 can communicate with a computer running IPv4. These transition methods or techniques include the following:

In a dual stack network, hosts and routers implement both IPv4 and IPv6. Figure 6 depicts how dual stack networks can support both IPv4 and IPv6 services and applications during the transition period. Currently, dual stack networks are the preferred mechanism for transitioning to IPv6. [The Sprint to IPv6, Internet News 12.19.07 (Sprint will utlize Dual Stack solution)]

Tunneling allows separate IPv6 networks to communicate via an IPv4 network. For example, for one type of tunneling method, IPv6 packets are encapsulated by a border router, sent across an IPv4 network, and decoded by a border router on the receiving IPv6 network. Figure 7 depicts the tunneling process of IPv6 data inside an IPv4 network. [Sprint Paper] B. Carpenter, K. Moore, IETF RFC 3056, Connection of IPv6 Domains via IPv4 Clouds (Feb. 2001) (tunnels)

Translation allows networks using only IPv4 and networks using only IPv6 to communicate with each other by translating IPv6 packets to IPv4 packets. The use of a translator allows new systems to be deployed as IPv6 only, while older systems remain IPv4 only. While this method may result in bottlenecks while packets are being translated, it can provide a high level of interoperability.

These transition methods represent a few of the common approaches for ensuring interoperability between IPv6 and IPv4 communications. They can be used alone or in concert to enable communication among IPv4 and IPv6 networks. However, while such techniques mitigate interoperability challenges, in some instances, they may result in increased security risks if not analyzed and managed.

NATs: This project would be a lot further along if the Washington Nationals were a part of the solution; however, until the Washington Nats get their new stadium built, this solution refers to Network Address Translation devices. Basically this is a black box, typically at the border of a network, that translates one set of addresses into another (much like the translation example above). On the outside the NAT is typically public IP numbers; on the inside on the private network are used a private set of numbers not visible to the Internet. There is set-aside a specific block of IP numbers for internal private use that are never suppose to be seen in the public routing table. This is a nice conservation trick. The NAT can be assigned one IP number; behind the NAT on the private network can be hundreds or thousands of devices with private IP numbers that can be reached through the NAT. NATs, however, break the end-to-end design of the Internet and thereby do not work as well with certain applications such as P2P and VoIP. [ICANN 10-2007]

One of the benefits of IPv6 is that it increases the supply of IP numbers, removes the need for NATS, and thereby restores end-to-end connectivity. Applications can talk directly to each other without a NAT in the middle which can break that connectivity. Ironically, many network operators like NATs exactly for this reason, it breaks end-to-end connectivity. They would prefer to have one or a few addresses interacting with the Internet as a whole, as opposed to 1000s of addresses inside their network interacting with the Internet. NATs create single doors into networks at which a great deal of security can be implemented. SysOps have more control over what is going on and over their network. Even if IPv6 is implemented, a number of Sysops have indicated that they will continue to use NATs.

Overall US Transition

  • Matt Hines, What the US is missing by ignoring IPv6 , InfoWorld (Mar. 12, 2008) (" In the U.S., the relatively high number of IPv4 addresses still available and the widespread use of NAT has made IPv6 a "why bother?" project for most companies, Gomi said, even though most computers, operating systems, and network hardware built in the last four years support IPv6. ")
  • Cost of Transition

    Derived From: Potential Impacts on Communications from IPv4 Exhaustion & IPv6 Transition Robert Cannon, OSP, December 2010 Paper: Word | Acrobat |

    The cost of transitioning to IPv6 could be problematic. Costs involved in the IPv6 transition include renumbering networks, running two separate networks (IPv4 and IPv6) simultaneously, upgrading relevant software and hardware, training staff, and testing implementations. 1The cost of IPv6 will involve capital investment and ongoing operational costs that will have to be diverted from other business goals and which can be difficult to bear in today's economic climate. 2 Some networks may be averse to expending financial resources to make the transition until absolutely required. 3 According to an IEEE White Paper,

    A report generated for the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in 2005 stated that it would take 25 years to have a total transition to IPv6 at a cost of $25B, in 2003 dollars. However, a scholarly report on the adoption of IPv6 indicates that we will run out of IPv4 addresses well before the 25 years is up. Note that the same NIST report indicates the $25B would be less than 1% on network infrastructure spending, and they estimate the benefits of migrating to IPv6 are $10B per year .

    Also take into consideration that 25 years is still relatively fast for technology adoption. The introduction of digital switching to analog switching took more than 35 years. Moreover, there are still analog switches used in the public switched network. Likewise, we are twelve years into a 25-year migration from switched voice and video services to predominantly IP-based, end-to-end, voice and video services. What is different is the old technologies coexisted fairly well with the new technology, and it was hard for the average user to notice they were communicating with older technology (except for some features or quality).

    The NIST report also mentioned the cost to ISP's for migrating to IPv6 would be $136M (2003 dollars). Again, this cost is a fraction of annual ISP network equipment spending, and thus should not be a major impediment. However, without a clear return-on-investment to the ISP, other than being able to offer IPv6 connectivity, it is hard to get them to make the investment. 4

    Geoff Huston notes that ISPs will bear an additional cost as the result of the transition without an improvement of service to customers. Indeed, Huston notes, since many of the transition methods deteriorate end-to-end connectivity and quality-of-service, ISPs who deploy transition solutions will incur increased costs while offering inferior service - and thus will be at a potential competitive disadvantage. 5

    Conversely, officials from the Defense Research and Engineering Network (DREN) have been sharing information from their IPv6 transition experience. DREN was an early IPv6 mover and was able to incorporate IPv6 into the regular lifecycle of their networks. As a result, they indicate that they were able to migrate their networks to IPv6 with little additional money set aside for the IPv6 transition. 6 The DREN experience suggests that, with planning, anticipated expenses could be mitigated.

    1 Next Generation Internet: IPv4 Address Exhaustion, Mitigation Strategies and Implications for the US, IEEE-USA White Paper, p. 17 (2009); Factsheet: IPv6 - The Internet's Vital Expansion, ICANN (Oct. 2007); Briefing Paper: IPv6 Deployment: State of Play and the Way Forward, Internet Society (June 18, 2009); IPv6 Economic Impact Assessment, RTI International for NIST (Oct. 2005) ; OECD Study: Economic considerations in the management of IPv4 and in the deployment of IPv6, p. 36 (May 2008) (" The cost of IPv6 deployment cannot be evaluated generically, as such costs vary on a case-by-case basis according to network needs and business "); Marco Hogewoning, IPv6 at XS4ALL RIPE 59 Lisboa (Slides).

    2 Briefing Paper: IPv6 Deployment: State of Play and the Way Forward, Internet Society (June 18, 2009).

    3 The financial cost of the transition was likewise an issue during the NCP-to-IPv4 transition. See Janet Abbate, Inventing the Internet, p. 141 (MIT Press 2000) ("Most host system managers had no compelling interest in converting to the Internet protocols, and the transition required a number of steps that would cost the host sites time and money").

    4 Next Generation Internet: IPv4 Address Exhaustion, Mitigation Strategies and Implications for the US, IEEE-USA White Paper, p. 19-20 (2009).

    5 Geoff Huston, Is the Transition to IPv6 a "Market Failure," The ISP Column (Sept. 2009) (The Transition Process). See also J. Curran, RFC 1669, Market Viability as a IPng Criteria, IETF (Aug. 1994) (" No internetworking vendor (whether host, router, or service vendor) can afford to deploy and support products and services which are not desired in the marketplace. ").

    6 DREN Helps Make the Transition to Internet Protocol 6 (IPv6), Department of Defense DREN (accessed Dec. 4, 2010); John M. Baird, Defense Research and Engineering Network (DREN) IPv6 Deployment Joint Engineering Team (Sept. 21, 2010).


    Major Networks IPv6 Status (This is not up to date)

    Network Comment Received IPv6 Allocation from ARIN (per RIPE).
    AOL Received IPv6 Allocation from ARIN (per RIPE).
  • AT&T and IPv6.
  • Moon6 Participant.
  • 6Bone Participant. 6Bone.
  • Received IPv6 Allocation from ARIN (per RIPE).
  • British Telecom Global Networked IT Services Key Features.
    Cable & Wireless "Since October 2000 Cable & Wireless offers native IPv6 peering at the INXS" INXS Native IPv6 Peering
    Charter Charter Hints at DOCSIS 3.0 , Light Reading 's Cable Digital News (Feb. 27, 2008) (""We plan to test next-generation Docsis 3.0 in the second half of this year," said CEO Neil Smit during today's earnings call with reporters and analysts. He later noted that deployments likely won't follow until 2009.")
    Cincinnati Bell  
    Cogent Received IPv6 Allocation from ARIN (per RIPE).
  • Dual-Stack. V6 at edge.
  • IPv6 @ Comcast Managing 100+ Million IP Addresses (2006)
  • Mike Robuck, Migrating Your Network to DOCSIS 3.0, Communications Technology (Feb. 5, 2007)
  • Received IPv6 Allocation from ARIN (per RIPE).
  • Todd Spangler, Comcast Eyes Gradual Move to DOCSIS 3.0, MultiChannel News, July 2, 2007
  • Cox Mike Robuck, Migrating Your Network to DOCSIS 3.0, Communications Technology (Feb. 5, 2007) ("In contrast to Comcast, Cox's Ben Bekele, senior DOCSIS engineer, said IPv6 wasn't as big a priority for his company because of how Cox has its systems architected.")
    Deutsche Telekom  
    Defense Research and Engineering Network DREN Dual Stack. IPv6 Network Pilot
  • Earthlink IPv6 in the Home;
  • Earthlink IPv6 FAQ; ("pilot service is available to anyone ")
  • Received IPv6 Allocation from ARIN (per RIPE).
  • Embarq Received IPv6 Allocation from ARIN (per RIPE).
    France Telecom
  • France Telecom Signs IPv6 Clients , Light Reading Europe (Dec. 6, 2004)
  • Big APE Exchange (NYC) (exchanging IPv6 traffic at Big APE)
  • 6Bone Participant. 6Bone.
  • Tayeb Ben Meriem, France Telecom R&D, France Telecom IPv6 Strategy , Gulf IPv6 Summit (March 29 th 2005).
  • Nokia Press Release: Nokia and France Telecom R&D to cooperate on global IPv6 network evolution November 28, 2001.
  • First Communications  
    Global Crossing
  • GC Blog IPv6
  • AT&T, Global Crossing team to aid IPv6 transition, FCW Aug. 30, 2006
  • Global Crossing Deploys IPv6 in Global Network, Global Crossing press release (Oct 10, 2005)
  • Asia Global Crossing announces beta test phase or IPv6 capability, BNET Jan 15, 2002
  • W David Gardner, Lucent, Global Crossing Move Ahead on IPv6 , TechWeb (Oct. 11, 2005) ("Global Crossing reported that it has deployed IPv6 natively across its global IP network.")
  • Hughes Direcway  
  • The Internet2 Network.
  • Moon6 Participant.
  • Received IPv6 Allocation from ARIN (per RIPE).
  • KDDI
  • Big APE Exchange (NYC) (exchanging IPv6 traffic at Big APE)
  • NYIIX Members List (Telehouse America ) (Speakeasy, RIPE NCC, F Root Mirror, KDDI, exchanging IPv6 traffic at NYIIX)
  • Level3  
  • Mediacom Waiting on DOCSIS 3.0 , Broadband Reports (Aug. 8, 2007)
  • NTT
  • NTT America - Products - IPv6 .
  • NTT Global IPv6 Backbone operational in 2001.
  • NTT Home Page
  • Moon6 Participant.
  • 6Bone Participant. 6Bone.
  • MCI Joins IPv6 Testbed, NW (Feb. 2, 2005) ("Currently, the only ISP in the United States to offer this capability is NTT Verio.")
  • Martyn Williams, NTT Offers Consumer IPv6 Service , InfoWorld (Dec. 22, 2005);
  • NTT Press Release, NTT Com to Launch OCN IPv6 Service for Individual Users (Nov. 21, 2005)
  • Mediacom  
    Qwest Received IPv6 Allocation from ARIN (per RIPE); IPv6 : A carrier's perspective, Qwest 2003 ARIN XI ("Qwest today operates a native [OC3] IPv6 network separate from IPv4 network")
    TW Road Runner  
  • Received IPv6 Allocation from ARIN (per RIPE).
  • Carolyn Duffy Marsan, Savvis chooses CISCO for Network Upgrade , Computer World (Dec. 12, 2006) ("The new network is capable of supporting IPv6 -- a long-anticipated upgrade to IPv4, the Internet's main communications protocol -- and Savvis plans to begin IPv6 testing next year. "We will be ready to release a product based on IPv6 in 2008," Doerr says.")
  • Speakeasy
  • NYIIX Members List (Telehouse America ) (Speakeasy, RIPE NCC, F Root Mirror, KDDI, exchanging IPv6 traffic at NYIIX)
  • Sprint
  • Sprint IPv6 Background Paper.
  • IPv6 Backbone (AS6175).
  • Moon6 Participant.
  • 6Bone Participant. 6Bone.
  • Received IPv6 Allocation from ARIN (per RIPE).
  • IPv6 at Sprint [ ppt ], NANOG April 2005 (1997: obtained 6bone address space. 1998: 15 customers. 1999: 40 customers. 2000: obtained ARIN space - 110 customers. 2004: 300 IPv6 connections.
  • Teleglobe The peer 2 peer Internet: Crossing the IPv6 chasm to new territories of revenue opportunitiesPDF, Teleglobe Dec 2004 US IPv6 Summit (Slide 36 "Teleglobe facilitates the world 's first intercontinental native IPv6 connection ; becomes a founding member of the IPv6 forum. - Teleglobe presents its original IPv6 plans at the Telluride March 2000 IPv6 Forum - 2003: Teleglobe starts an IPv6 pilot and is the first Canadian carrier to announce commercial IPv6 introduction.")
    Time Warner Telecom  
    United Online  
    Verizon / MCI / WCOM / UUNET
  • MCI Joins IPv6 Testbed, NW (Feb. 2, 2005).
  • Moon6 Participant.
  • 6Bone Participant. 6Bone. (UUNET)
  • Received IPv6 Allocation from ARIN (per RIPE).
  • Verizon Federal Networking Solutions Professional Services .
  • Joab Jackson, Is the OMB IPv6 mandate faltering , GCN (Dec. 18, 2007)
  • Verizon MAE IPv6 Support .
  • Rhonda Ascierto, Verizon Business to roll out IPv6 by '09 , Computer Business Review (Sept 26, 2007) ("Verizon Business, which began its first phase of deploying IPv6 on the public IP network in 2004, will complete the North America region in 2008 and move into the Asia-Pacific and European regions from late 2008 to 2009.")
  • Loring Wirbel, Verizon enters second phase of IPv6 transition , EETimes (Sept. 25, 2007) ("The genesis of the network was formed from MCI's Very-High-Performance Backbone Network Service, which became IPv6-capable in 1998 in its vBNS+ instantiation. Because this network was the second to be allocated IPv6 address space by the American Registry for Internet Numbers, the federal government began working closely first with MCI, then with Verizon Business, to use vBNS+ to meet the U.S. government mandate to turn to IPv6 by mid-2008.")
  • Verizon Business plans 18 month transition to IPv6 , ITWire (Sept. 26, 2007)
  • Windstream  
    XO ARIN IPv6 Allocation.

    Note: This is similar to the situation of Y2K disclosure statements. Survey of networks is based on "readily apparent information" found on websites. This means we went to the website and made a good faith effort to try to find the information. Information is not guaranteed to be complete or accurate.

    © Cybertelecom ::