The total depletion of IPv4 address pool is close; however, a recent European Commission (EC) survey highlighted an alarming lack of leadership regarding Internet development, as many businesses are still not ready for the transition to IPv6.
The EC survey, which gathered responses from the membership base of the RIPE NCC, the RIR that supports the infrastructure of the Internet in Europe, the Middle East and parts of Central Asia, found that only 17 per cent of businesses in the region have plans for IPv6 adoption. Even Internet Service Providers (ISPs) seem to have their heads in the sand, as 92 per cent report insignificant IPv6 traffic, or have no IPv6 in use at all.
Moreover, it seems that Europe is lagging behind the rest of the world when it comes to IPv6 deployment. Only 30 per cent of European organisations polled were concerned about the implications of IPv4 depletion on their business, while almost half (48 per cent) of organisations polled outside of the EU recognised that the shortage of IPv4 addresses poses a threat to Internet development.
EU organisations’ lack of urgency in adopting IPv6 could leave the region behind the rest of the world when it comes to Internet development, hampering their ability to compete in the global marketplace.
IPv6 adoption is not only a means for individual organisations to safeguard connectivity, communication and commerce now and in the years to come – it’s essential for the future development of the global Internet economy.
If businesses fail to adopt IPv6 in a timely fashion, socio-economic growth could become stalled as the Internet will be unable to sustain a growing amount of devices and users connected to the network, who in turn could become digitally excluded.
This is especially true when you consider that experts are predicting that in the not too distant future everything - from a simple stapler, all the way to an airplane - will soon be able to be networked, in what is known as the 'Internet of things'.
With the available pool of IPv4 address space quickly approaching the final 10 per cent, it is clear that the Internet-wide adoption of IPv6 is unavoidable, and delaying investment in IPv6 will result in greater costs down the road.
The best way forward is a well planned and executed deployment of IPv6. Only then, will businesses be ready for the future of the Internet.