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Brussels 16-17 June 2011

Report from the workshop

IPv6 deployment in Europe,



(Actions 89, 97)

Workshop headlines

Headlines from the workshop "IPv6 deployment in Europe"

Purpose of this workshop

To gather useful recommendations and strategic ideas from key stakeholders in order to increase the pace of IPv6 take-up in Europe.

Status of progress and challenges reported in the workshop

To ensure that we and our content remain accessible to - and we can access - people, devices (“Internet of Things”) and applications with only IPv6 connectivity (especially those in the developing world), more needs to be done for European IPv6 deployment.

Stakeholders’ actions and commitments mentioned in the workshop

Mandate every government public-facing website to be IPv6-capable by 2012 (as in US) Share experiences …. and get trained Plan the deployment… it takes time IPv6 is ready for deployment … but ensuring connectivity from older customer equipment is an issue. Replacement could be subsidised, e.g. through tax breaks for depreciating earlier, in light of the fact that the Internet is a “public good” Public administrations can use their channels to the EC to highlight their needs and lead by example (help people get onto the Internet, sponsor training, public procurement - RIPE 501) Identify business cases and take care to ensure there is no market distortion (regulation ?)

Purpose and context of the workshop

The internet has become the main technology for transporting every kind of communication, whether voice, video or data. It is the basis for almost all business transactions and social interactions, and its quality and pervasiveness has been shown to have a direct correlation to the wealth creation of a country.

In this respect the internet has become a victim of its own success – the global pool of 4 billion so- called “IPv4” addresses used to identify the sources and destinations of the packets (computers in the home or office, websites, mobile phones, laptops, tablets, etc.) will be exhausted in 2011. Given the continuing enormous demands for internet addresses in the developing world and emerging countries (especially in the Asia-Pacific region) and the need for the internet to support new types of end devices, including sensors (“Internet of Things”) and smart meters, a new Internet Protocol, IPv6, has been standardised, developed, tested and implemented. With a total number of addresses larger than the number of grains of sand in the world, IPv6 not only guarantees the survival of the internet for the foreseeable future, but also enables the original end-to-end transparency to be re-instated, with the certain emergence of new applications.

The need for encouraging the deployment of IPv6 in Europe stems from the fact that IPv6 is not compatible with the existing internet; IPv6 addresses cannot be understood by older network interface equipment and software designed to expect only IPv4 addresses (and vice-versa). Therefore, to ensure that we - and our content - remain accessible to (and we can access) people, devices and applications which have only IPv6 connectivity (as will soon be the predominant situation in the developing world), in Europe we must also deploy IPv6-capable networks and devices.

Digital Agenda Assembly – 16-17 June 2011


Related DAE actions

ICT for Social Challenges Action 89: Member States to make eGovernment services fully interoperable

International Action 97: Promote the internationalisation of internet governance

Results from previous online exchanges and activities

On 27 May 2011 the workshop coordinator published a blog post on IPv6 - it had more than 600 views. The workshop hash tag - daa11ipv6 - had a total of 69 tweets.

Speakers started exchanging views electronically prior to the workshop. In particular, opinions were exchanged on the roll of and impact on carriers and ISPs regarding IPv6 introduction, new use cases in industry and business and migration issues for small & medium enterprises, and the impact on residential customers.

Status of progress and challenges reported in the workshop

The challenge is to ensure that we and our content remain accessible to - and we can access - those people, devices (“Internet of Things”) and applications which will be only reachable via the internet in the future using IPv6. These end-points will be increasingly those in the developing world, where the economic implications will likely be the most important. If Europe is not to be left behind in the digital age, more needs to be done to encourage IPv6 depl oyment now. It was highlighted by many speakers that progress in Europe is too slow, given that deployment in large organisations can take up to two years to perform in a cost effective way (i.e. installing IPv6-capable equipment in accordance with natural replacement cycles, training staff and making small-scale trials to gain familiarity and expertise).

Profile of speakers and audience: constituencies present/ missing, geographical balance, any other relevant aspect

The workshop comprised two roundtables:

Roundtable 1: 'A perspective of IPv6 deployment from internet service and content providers'

Roundtable 2: 'A perspective of IPv6 deployment from public authorities'

The first roundtable was chaired by Mario Campolargo (Director - Emerging Technologies and Infrastructures Directorate, European Commission). The first presentation was given remotely with a video by Vinton Cerf, Internet Chief Evangelist at Google. Four representatives from the internet service and content providers then delivered in turn their presentations: Donn Lee (Senior Network Engineer at Facebook), Francisco Eusebio (Network Strategist at Portugal Telecom), Uwe Mühlender (Senior Expert for Data/IP at Deutsche Telekom) and Daniel Karrenberg (Chief Scientist at RIPE NCC).

The second roundtable was chaired by Per Blixt (Head of Unit - New Infrastructure Paradigms and Experimental Facilities, European Commission). The first presentation was given remotely with a video by Leslie Daigle from the Internet Society (ISOC). She was then followed by presentations by Geoff Huston (Chief Scientist for the Asia Pacific Network Information Centre (APNIC)), Constanze Bürger (Federal Ministry of the Interior, Germany), Göran Marby (Director-General of the Swedish Post and Telecom Agency (PTS)) and Rafael Pérez Galindo (Ministry of Industry, Tourism and Trade, Spain).

Martin Potts was the rapporteur of the workshop and Kamil Mroz the live reporter.

Digital Agenda Assembly – 16-17 June 2011


Key points from the discussion

After Mario Campolargo opened the first roundtable by outlining the objectives of the workshop, Vinton Cerf, one of the original founders of the internet, expressed his support for the goals of the workshop via a remote presentation. He was followed by Donn Lee who outlined the benefits of IPv6 for Facebook as being to lower the barriers to entry by avoiding complexity in many parts of the network and to ensure the internet’s continued growth. Francisco Eusebio outlined how Portugal Telecom had deployed IPv6 and the current status. He explained that, like most ISPs, their core network equipment is all IPv6-capable, but the support becomes less widespread towards the edges of the network and in services, such as IPTV. Uwe Mühlender explained that in both the fixed and mobile sectors of his company, the exhaustion of IPv4 addresses was the main incentive to deploy IPv6. For network providers with their own infrastructure the area-wide introduction of IPv6 (as opposed to tunneling IPv6 over IPv4) is considered to be the most effective transition path. He opposed the deployment of Carrier Grade NATs. Finally, Daniel Karrenberg highl ighted the growing preparedness of the ISPs in Europe for IPv6, but expressed disappointment that still only 16% were advertising IPv6 routes. 57% of the European ISPs (fortunately the smaller ones) are not even planning to deploy IPv6 at the moment. He said that the RIPE-NCC pool of IPv4 addresses was now almost exhausted and that any new ISP would receive 1’024 addresses only. Existing ISPs will not get any more IP4 addresses.

After Per Blixt opened the second round table (referring also to studies initiated by the European Commission on IPv6 curricula, and IPv6 deployment monitoring), Leslie Daigle described via a remote presentation the ISOC-organised “World IPv6 Day” as having been a great success. She explained that there was no collapse of the IPv6 network, few problems reported by users and it showed good collaboration between companies which normally compete with each other. Geoff Huston presented some of the statistics that he is collecting to show that IPv6 deployment is too slow. He questioned why, now that there are essentially no IPv4 addresses left, everyone has not transitioned to IPv6 - as was the original plan. He concluded that the main reasons for the slow uptake of IPv6 are (i) NATs and (ii) the lack of native IPv6 in the access network. He expected this situation to change as IPv6- only applications emerge and competition appears from ISPs offering native IPv6 access. Constanze Bürger presented the status of IPv6 deployment in the German pubic administrations. The work is progressing well and they have produced a Reference Handbook which other public authorities may use. Göran Marby emphasized the effect on the internet on global business and therefore the importance of being connected to the developing regions of the world and emerging countries. However, he also pointed out that 75% of service providers’ profit derives from their mobile operation, not IP. Finally, Rafael Pérez Galindo announced Spain’s National Plan for the deployment of IPv6, which is being led by his department and was approved on 29 th April 2011. Part of this plan will include an offer of training, in conjunction with the EC FP7 project 6DEPLOY. Spain’s progress will be followed closely by several other Spanish speaking countries throughout the world, who have announced similar intentions.

Actions and commitments mentioned in the workshop; future steps

  • 1. Mandate every government public-facing website to be IPv6-capable by 2012

In the United States, it has been mandated that every governmental public-facing website must be accessible via IPv6 by the end of 2012. A similar action in Europe would not only help to raise awareness amongst the general public, but would also ensure that public authorities make the deployment in a planned and cost effective way.

  • 2. Share experiences

Some public authorities (e.g. Germany) are already one year into their plan for IPv6 deployment and are willing to share their experiences with others. Some public administrations have entered into a proposal for a Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme (CIP) project, led by Germany, which - if accepted - will provide a blueprint for IPv6 deployment within public authorities and facilitate the exchange of best practices.

  • 3. Plan the deployment … it takes time

Digital Agenda Assembly – 16-17 June 2011


To ensure that IPv6 deployment takes place most cost-effectively (i.e in-line with the regular equipment replacement cycles and staff training schedules), large organisations should start the planning early and follow well-established guidelines. If left until the last minute, it will be more expensive to purchase the equipment and training may not be available.

  • 4. IPv6 is ready for deployment

Speakers confirmed that, apart from some older customer equipment, most of the network is IPv6-

compatible, as was proven by the successful “World IPv6 Day” on 8


June 2011, when many large

companies, including Google, Facebook, Yahoo and ISPs made their content and networks accessible

to the general public via IPv6.

  • 5. The role of public administrations

On one hand, public administrations can use their channels to the EC to highlight their needs and, on the other hand, they can show an example to citizens. Whilst not likely to be the main forces in the deployment of IPv6, public authorities can play a role in raising awareness, encouraging ISPs to deploy native IPv6 to households and supporting organisations and citizens by offering sponsored training. They can also mandate IPv6-capability in their procurements - in this respect, the RIPE document 501 was recommended.

Other relevant feedback from participants

Public authorities should start the IPv6 deployment process now, in order not to waste public money by having to replace equipment urgently, outside of the regular replacement schedule.

As well as the need to remain accessible to/from the developing world, a driver for deploying IPv6 will be that useful applications will emerge that will only work with IPv6. In general, interesting business cases for IPv6 should be widely publicised.

It was argued that IPv6 is also a key technology for ensuring a single European market for internet-based services, since it will mean that all ISPs will operate with the same resources (addresses) and the same rules for handling them. Other techniques for attempting to prolong the lifetime of the existing IPv4 addresses (so-called “Carrier Grade NATs”) would provide ISPs with more opportunities for favouring certain content providers over others, and thus creating market distortion.

ISPs were criticised for not offering native IPv6 connectivity to the home, though it was recognised that upgrading the access network will incur costs which they will be unable to recover from their customers, who would not notice any difference (or could achieve the same outcome for free through tunnelling). It was suggested that - given that the internet can be considered as a “common good” - governments could accelerate the demand for native IPv6 connectivity from ISPs by offering users tax incentives for replacing older equipment.

It was discussed if governments and regulators should try to influence IPv6 deployment. For example, if ISPs only see only their own financial implications of deploying IPv6, the take-up will be slower than if a government can appreciate the benefits from a broader perspective. One suggestion was for governments/regulators to mandate that smart meters must use IPv6 addresses. However, there was general agreement that governments and regulators should not interfere too directly, unless there were signs of market distortion.

The “World IPv6 Day” on 8 th June 2011 was considered to have been an extremely useful exercise for identifying some interoperability issues and fixing them, but also for motivating organisations to deploy and use IPv6. Its success was a strong indication that IPv6 is mature.

Digital Agenda Assembly – 16-17 June 2011