OECD, Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development, has released a report for policy makers assessing the level of IPv6 deployment around the world. "[T]he timely deployment of IPv6 by network operators and content/application providers is an increasing priority for all Internet stakeholders. In terms of public policy, IPv6 plays an important role in enabling growth of the Internet to support further innovation. In addition, security, interoperability and competition issues are involved with the depletion of IPv4."
Key findings from the report are:
- Networks that can run IPv6 and that propose IPv6 services are critical to IPv6 deployment. 5.5% of networks on the Internet (1 800 networks) could handle IPv6 traffic by early 2010. IPv6 networks have grown faster than IPv4-only since mid-2007. Similarly, demand for IPv6 address blocks has grown faster than demand for IPv4 address blocks. Even more encouragingly, Internet infrastructure players seem to be actively readying for IPv6, with one out of five transit networks (i.e. networks that provide connections through themselves to other networks) handling IPv6. In practice, several indicators are closely correlated and point to the same countries as having the most IPv6 network services. These include Germany, the Netherlands, the United States, and the United Kingdom.
- The penetration of operating systems that supports IPv6 indicates the number of Internet computers/devices that could potentially run IPv6 if IPv6 connectivity was available. The number of potential users is quite high with over 90% of the installed base of operating systems being IPv6-capable, and roughly 25% of end users running an operating system that supports IPv6 by default in January 2010, such as Windows Vista or Mac OS X. However, actual IPv6 connectivity by users is very low. A one year experiment by Google estimated that just 0.25% of users had IPv6 connectivity (and chose IPv6 when given the choice) in September 2009, up from less than 0.2% one year before. After France, the top countries by percentage of native IPv6 capable users in September 2009 were China, Sweden, the Netherlands, the United States, and Japan.
- IPv6 support by content providers and low latency of IPv6 websites are critical for end-users to have an incentive to use IPv6. Only 1.45% of the top 1000 websites had an IPv6 website in January 2010, but this figure grew to 8% in March 2010 when Google websites were included. However, only 0.15% of the top 1 million websites had an IPv6 website in January 2010 (and just 0.16% in March 2010). A trend may be emerging whereby large websites are deploying IPv6 alongside IPv4, while the vast majority of smaller websites remain available only over IPv4.
Related topics: Internet Governance, IP Addressing, IPv6, Policy & Regulation, Regional Registries