IPv6 Summit Tackles Tech Transition

John Curran, President & CEO of American Registry for Internet Numbers (ARIN).

Earlier this morning, at the kickoff of the IPv6 Summit at the Cable Show, John Curran, CEO of ARIN, spoke of the need for operators, content providers, and equipment vendors to take steps immediately to ease the world’s transition from IPv.

4,000,000,000 IP addresses are available under IPv4 compared to 340,282,366,920,938,463,463,374,607,431,768,211,456 addresses available under IPv6.  Noting the significant difference between the two, Curran equated the pools to golf balls.  If the two were golf balls, of equal density, the IPv6 ball would be the size of the sun.

Curran offered some suggestions for the industry including:

  • Providers should offer both IPv4 and IPv6 to provide the full Internetto customers.  There are many transition technologies available and companies  should make their own architectural decisions.
  • Large content providers have been leading the charge toward IPv6 adoption, to ensure their customers can reach them.  Smaller content providers should plan for IPv6 as soon as possible.
  • Hardware vendors need to recognize IPv6 capable equipment will be mandatory very quickly. They should build support into their product cycle now.

Curran cited estimates that everyone will need multiple IP addresses for near-term use – perhaps as many as 50 billion addresses – in the immediate future.  That doesn’t, however, address long term growth.  Since IPv6 uses a 128 bit field rather than 32 bit, it is capable of meeting demand now, and well into the future.



Michael Turk is a Partner in CRAFT | Media / Digital, a full-spectrum communications agency.  Learn more about CRAFT at www.craftdc.com.


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