With the Internet rapidly running out of space for new IPv4 addresses, only a small percentage of cable, wireless and wireline service operators worldwide surveyed by Incognito Software are prepared for IPv6, and fewer yet are offering the latest Internet Protocol to their end-users.
The challenges of carrying out infrastructure upgrades, compatible device support and customer education are the main hurdles facing Internet service providers, according to Incognito’s “IPv6 Readiness” report.
That’s not to say cable, wireless and wireline service operators don’t recognize the importance of transitioning to IPv6. Incognito’s survey revealed that three-quarters of respondents have begun planning an IPv6 migration.
A large majority – 83 percent – actively planning or deploying IPv6 are doing so out of sheer necessity, because they’re “simply running out of IPv4 resources,” Incognito says in a news release.
Also among the key findings in Incognito’s global survey of cable, wireless and wireline operators:
- Lack of trust in the Network Address Translation (NAT) protocol, designed to allow multiple devices to connect to a public network with the same IPv4 address, is the second most pressing concern, representing 40 percent of respondents.
- In third place, 30 percent of respondents cited lower long-term costs as being a primary driver of their IPv6 deployments.
When it comes to challenges in migrating to IPv6, Incognito found the CPE (Customer Premises Equipment) upgrades and “lack of device support” top the list for 50 percent of respondents that have completed, are in mid-adoption or in the planning phases of an IPv6 transition. Educating customers was ranked second, at 39 percent.
Incognito also found that nearly 34 percent of companies currently adopting IPv6 expect to complete the transition within a year. One-third expect to do so within two years.
Executive buy-in is a key driver for IPv6 adoption, Incognito also found. Nearly half (43 percent) of organizations that have completed the migration to IPv6 “have acknowledged C-Level support as a primary motivator,” according to Incognito.
The so-called “dual-stack” process, where organizations run IPv4 and IPv6 in parallel, remains the preferred method of carrying out the migration. Nearly 90 percent of survey respondents chose this option, “which is unsurprising due to the high number of IPv4-enabled devices currently available on the market,” Incognito commented.
“As service providers continue to search for ways to stretch their existing IPv4 resources, they are unearthing the reality that the industry’s increasing number of subscribers, devices and services make the need for IPv6 simply unavoidable,” Stephane Bourque, president and CEO of Incognito Software, was quoted as saying.
“Investing in a robust IP address management solution is important for operators who need to stay up-to-date on existing IP assignments and available addresses – especially for those who are using dual-stack methods to complete their deployments – so they can both attract new subscribers and anticipate potential conflicts before they cause serious issues for their existing users.”