Only a third of global ISPs on the way to IPv6 compliance

Internet communities are still at war

Only a third of the world's top 21 Internet Service Providers (ISPs) have begun the move to IPv6, according to Latif Ladid, president of the IPv6 Forum.

Speaking at the IPv6 Summit in Canberra yesterday, Ladid said IPv6 continues to come under attack from multiple fronts forming part of the "world wars" of the Internet.

"We [Internet professionals] have to do everything to fight those wars, and not have another one as well." he said.

Part of this skepticism, according to Ladid, is caused by so-called experts in the Internet community yet to reach a consensus on the best method of transition from IPv4 to IPv6.

"I don't think that we have found the best way of ensuring the transition is as simple as possible so that it is easy for everyone to do," he said.

"Our task is to make that transition as secure and easy as possible."

But Ladid stressed that IPv6 skeptics will be proven wrong in the fullness of time.

"There were predictions back in 1995 that the Internet would collapse by the end of 1996. But of course it didn't happen," Ladid said.

He acknowledged that the transition to IPv6 is a large and complex undertaking - one he likens to switching a plane's engines in mid- flight. But he stressed that the world Internet community was more than up to the challenge.

He also argued that the transition won't cost organizations as much as many think, noting that for the past three years major engineering firm Bechtel has only budgeted $100,000 per year for IPv6 upgrades.

Bechtel is a major contractor to the US Department of Defence, which will soon require all contractors to be IPv6 compliant.

According to Ladid, Australia is geographically in a good position to influence the future of IPv6 deployment and the Internet as a whole.

"The Internet is really going to happen in Asia. A big portion of it, if not 60-70 percent of [innovation] is," he said.

Although IPv6 proponents still face a tough challenge in convincing the world of the necessity of the transition, Ladid says the struggle will be easy compared to that which was required for the previous iteration.

"(IPv4) had a very hard time getting deployed," he said. "IPv6 is just a little song next to IPv4.," he said.

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