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IPv6 Adoption Still Not Dominant, Seven Years After Last IPv4 Address Blocks Allocated

While IPv6 still isn't the majority of Internet traffic, it is now growing at a fast pace.

 By Sean Michael Kerner | Posted Jun 6, 2018
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Seven years ago, on February 1, 2011, the last /8 address block from the free pool of IPv4 address space from Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA ) were assigned. At the time, some thought that IPv6 adoption would accelerate.

While there is certainly more IPv6 adoption now in 2018 than there was in 2011, IPv4, despite the lack of any new free pool address space blocks, remains the dominant addressing scheme on the Internet.

On June 6, 2012, the Internet Society launched an event it called World IPv6 Launch Day. Seven years later, the Internet Society is now claiming significant traction for IPv6 adoption around the world.

"IPv6 is now pervasive and growing fast in many networks and countries around the world,” Olaf Kolkman, Internet Society chief Internet tchnology officer, wrote in a statement. "It is increasingly seen as a competitive advantage, a market differentiator and an essential tool for forward-looking Internet applications and service providers of all kinds."

IPv6 Adoption by the Numbers

Though the Internet Society claims IPv6 to be "pervasive," its own 2018 report on IPv6 deployment states that "over 25 percent of all internet-connected networks advertise IPv6 connectivity." Advertising IPv6 connectivity means that IPv6 is an option; it also means that the majority of the internet (75 percent) does not have IPv6 advertised.

Going a step further, only 17 percent of the top million websites in the world currently work with IPv6, though that's up from only 13 percent in 2017.

Though IPv6 is not the majority, it represents a growing a non-trivial amount of Internet traffic. According to Google data cited by the Internet Society, there are 24 countries now where IPv6 traffic exceeds 15 percent of total Internet traffic.

Mobile

Currently among the leading use cases for IPv6 is mobile deployments. Indian ISP Reliance Jio has the most IPv6 in the world with approximately 238 million users, with Comcast in a distant second at 36 million, followed by AT&T at 22 million.

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at EnterpriseNetworkingPlanet and InternetNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.

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