IPv6 transition – business impact and governance issues – WS 04 2010
30 April 2010 | 10:15-11:30
Programme overview 2010
- Jacques Babot, European Commission
- Marcelo Bagnulo, IAB member
- Fred Harrison, Head of Telefónica Standards
- Patrik Fältstöm, Cisco
- Geoff Huston, Asia Pacific Network Information Centre (APNIC)
- Martin Levy, Hurricane Electric
- Roland Perry, RIPE NCC
- Pedro Veiga, Foundation for National Scientific Computing
- Fred Harrison, Head of Telefónica Standards
- Joao Damas, Bondis and Carlos Ralli Ucendo, Universidad Politécnica de Madrid
Remote participation moderator
There is an increasing IPv4 space exhaustion. Entering potential new markets dealing with IPv4 addresses is not recommended. EU member states are encouraged to move ahead to foster deployment by their communities. The industry sees no need to change model (RIR allocation, policies, etc.). Regulators must themselves learn about IPv6 so that they can then regulate as necessary from a position of knowledge.
The future availability of IPv4 resources and the scenarios that follow the exhaustion of the free resource pool were discussed. An explicit call for planning and action to start immediately was made. It was asked whether this will be a new occasion for the industry to perform a better business cost and opportunity analysis.
The key messages in the business discussion have been:
- The driver today for IPv6 is theIPv4 addressing space exhaustion. Entering potential new markets dealing with IPv4 addresses is not recommended at all.
- The time for IPv6 uptake is “right now”, because allocations left will provide less time than what is actually needed to adapt complex infrastructures with back-office applications and coordinate efforts among all involved players.
- IPv6 is considered a strategic cost and therefore not in the revenues increase or costs decrease but as a necessary step in order to continue operations.
The next steps regarding business impact identified during the session were:
- Start planning of your network as soon as possible. Small networks and core infrastructure appear easy to migrate while large access infrastructures may demand further analysis, consideration of various complex scenarios and strategies.
- Opportunities ahead such as M2M (“Internet of the things”) need to be early identified and worked out.
Further discussion needed on
how to market IPv6 towards the end-users when most of the routers at home premises are not yet enabled and most probably will require a hardware upgrade.
- National initiatives started by governments involve requirements in public procurement processes as well as ensuring that citizens will continue to be able to reach public services without impediment.
- The RIR system in the face of IPv6 deployment: RIR system has been ready for a long time. Probably one of the most compliant systems involved.
- No need seen in industry for a change in model (RIR allocation, policies, etc).
- Facilitating deployment by making resources available: http://www.ipv6actnow.org/
The role of the European Union
- Today the role of fostering deployment rests with the community. Historically for 15 years, the EU has devoted resources to foster IPv6 evolution. Since 2005 research is considered mostly complete. Since then the EU encourages member states to move ahead.
- The European Commission has invested more than 100 M€ to share the risk with industrial, academia and SMEs partners to drive IPv6 adoption in Europe. Additionally internal infrastructures are being adapted and since last week there’s even a WiFi v6-enabled network at one of the EC building.
- The most recent communication included a plan for action. Training is a key issue and so is monitoring work.
- Continued economic growth requires ease of Internet growth.
- The European Commission is concerned with market distortions related to eventual IPV4 secondary markets.
- The Internal move to IPv6. Study at DIGIT going to provision all infrastructure
The role of regulators concerning IPv6
- Inspect whether there is any regulation impeding use of IPv6.
- Depending on each country’s structure the approach to regulation, find the way to have public services enabled.
- Regulators must themselves learn about ipv6 so that they can then regulate as necessary from a position of knowledge.
- The alternative scenarios for continued Internet growth, involving complex multi-layer address translation introduces the risk of regression as the new devices will let operators to control which applications manage to work through the network, creating captive markets and monopolies that are later very hard to devolve, as past experience has shown.
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This text is being provided in a rough draft format. Communication Access Realtime Translation (CART) is provided in order to facilitate communication accessibility and may not be a totally verbatim record of the proceedings.
>> GEOFF HUSTON: Okay. Now we’re going to spend a little time talking about business issues, and then later change over to a slightly separate panel for the governance issues, and I think what I’ll do is I’m going to ask each of panelists individually to discuss one specific question, then we’ll have more general dialogue, but it gives each person a chance, really, to say a few words about their perspective on the business aspects of IPv6.
I’m going to start with Martin, if that’s okay. Martin, as I mentioned, is from Hurricane Electric, which is an Internet backbone provider. He is an expert on the current IPv6 deployments. And Martin, I wanted to ask you, really, about the business opportunities in IPv6, what you saw the benefits of starting migration today and the business case for migration today, and perhaps you can talk about what scenarios you see in this IPv6 runout, so perhaps if you could try and address that for a few minutes. Thank you.
>> MARTIN LEVY: Thank you. It’s always hard to follow after Geoff, but I want to address this from a commercial view, and something that you way you introduced this question is what to do today. IPv6 I am going to continue with a little bit of the dire mind-set that Geoff started with. If this is the first day you’re thinking about this, you’re too late. I can repeat that if you need it to be said again, but if you didn’t start thinking about it before I just said the last sentence, it’s now even later.
So let’s rewind the clock here. Because there’s actually some good news, and the good news is that a lot of people have been thinking about this in the commercial world for many years, and even before that in what I will call the transition between the committee world, the design world, and the real world.
So when I look at our experiences, we’ve been at this for seven or eight years, but if I look at the true commercial side of it, at the time when it actually made any commercial sense, I’m at about a three-year timeline, so I am just an old guy in this industry now. And that’s not a bad thing. Because if you are going to start thinking about it today – and by the way, just to give you a different way of thinking about Geoff’s statistic of when you need to be ready, around 505, 506 days away from one of the dates that Geoff gave, and 500 days is actually – that’s significant enough to put in front of management and say this needs some attention.
Here’s the plus from a commercial point of view. I come from a company where we have revenue that’s dependent upon being in the IPv6 world, being able to deliver IPv6 in the commercial world. And if you are looking at doing that today, you can rest on the understanding that other companies have also done that to date. Your company, Telefonica, just to pick one, because it’s your building, is as good a one to pick. It means that if you start today, you don’t have to worry so much about hardware availability. Is it going to be IPv6 enabled?
There’s a lot of people who have been kicking that tire down the street and have it working, and this is a good thing.
The second thing is you may become less and less worried about is my service provider in wherever – whatever part of the globe you’re in, is that service provider IPv6 enabled? If they’re not, just pick another one. I guarantee there’s one out there. It’s at the point now where money starts to speak. If you lose a deal as a commercial provider because you’re missing a feature, that’s no different than how we buy and sell cars. And it’s how market pressure works. We’re way past the theoretical and all the nice PowerPoint-ish side of this. We’ve been talking about v6 for an awful long time.
So I could talk about some great experiences that we’ve got. I don’t have time. Go look them up on the Web. I don’t have time to say this feature’s more important than that feature. What I do say is this: Just do it. It isn’t that complicated. This is 2010. If I was having this conversation four years ago, I admit, I couldn’t have gotten away with that statement, but it’s 2010. Just do it.
>> FRED HARRISON: Thank you. Let’s just move along the line now. I’m going to ask Marcelo, if you’d like to make a few comments. I think we’ve seen a pretty strong picture ready for IPv6, but Marcelo, I wonder, are there any alternatives to IPv6 deployment – for example, the address translation and so on, and our carrier-grade – that’s a viable option? Just give us the other side of the option, the pros and cons from what you see from your perspective.
>> MARCELO BAGNULO: So in a nutshell, you don’t want to go there, but if I want to – if I need to expand on this, basically, the thing is when we’re out of IPv4, what we need to do is use more aggressively. So how do we do that?
Basically, today, if you have a home network or small office or something, right, you basically have your own public IP public box. So basically, if we want to use more aggressively IPv4, what we are going to do is start sharing this among multiple describers. The way to do this is basically to put the net function deeper into the ISP network, so that will allow us to have multiple subscribers to share a single IP.
You put a box, you saw the problem. So you don’t need to change, you don’t need to move to IPv6, you know, your IPv4 applications are still running, everything is fine. What is the problem with this? The problem is these boxes are very different than what we have today. Right? So the thing is now the box that you have at home does no longer have a public IP 4 address, so there are a bunch of things that stop working. For instance, you no longer have a port 80 that is available to you. So if you want to run your Web server at home, it won’t work for you. It simply won’t work. So there are some applications that will simply start working.
So more applications, you can make them work. If you use – but if you still want to use peer-to-peer applications, you can upgrade to make it more complex to talk to a current technology, and life will somehow continue. The thing is the net result is you end up embedding more and more complex techniques that will make your network less reliable, less robust, and much more complex. So from the application perspective, either your client or your server will change, and some of them will simply not work.
There is another aspect of this, is that you’re no longer in control of your netbooks. Your netbook does no longer have a public IP4 address. So if you want to open a port or you want an application layer gateway to be installed, it’s no longer up to you. It’s up to the ISP. Right? So if the ISP doesn’t really like your application, he will not install your application-level gateway. That actually has deep impact in the network – debate, for instance.
An additional consideration is that there are several uses for IPv4, like use for identification of clients. That will no longer work. Imply that, I don’t know, content providers delivering services will need to change the way they do this in order to continue identifying their clients. Right?
So overall, anything can be made to work. The question is at what cost, and the question is how complex and how robust is the network that you end up with? Right?
>> FRED HARRISON: We’ve got an intricate microphone system here. Only one person can speak at a time. Thank you, Marcelo. Even though there are alternatives, it sounds like there are downsides to that, so that’s important for us to understand, you know, as we move through this next phase.
So then finally, we’ve got Pedro Veiga, president of FCCN. Let me remind myself what that means. This is the Portuguese Foundation for National Scientific Computing. He’s the Portugal delegate to ICANN, and I think he’s also responsible for management of the Portuguese top-level domain name.
So I think bearing in mind you’re also from the academic area, I’d like to ask you what usage you see of IPv6 in research users and projects and what sort of barriers are there for researchers to use IPv6? And then also perhaps a second aspect to consider is in terms of the future Internet, what requirements you see are being delivered by IPv6 for that, so from a research perspective, how are we seeing this IPv6 being enabled? Thank you.
>> PEDRO VEIGA: Okay. Thank you for the invitation. I will talk a little about those topics, and I will also describe what we have been doing in the Portuguese education network to promote the use of IPv6. We believe that’s very important because we involve universities, an universities are a primary place to educate future engineers and so on.
So we began very early. Indeed, I was personally involved since the very beginning of IPMG in 1993. And in 1997, I joined the academic network. I tried to promote the use of IPv6. That took some time, but since 2003, our backbone, as the backbone of most or, I could say, all European social net works, they are on IPv6 and IPv4. But that’s at the backbone level.
At the campus network, the situation is very different, and we try to promote that. And two years ago, we decided to make, let’s say, a provocation to universities and say our target is that all DNS servers in universities, all Web servers should be fully operational in both stacks. And that caused a problem. That was a problem because we have lack of knowledge in some universities. Some of them were very advanced, but some of them, there was a significant lack of knowledge. They had to do some investments. Sometimes the investments were rather small, like a new version of software for the router, but they had to be done.
For example, we have a lot of problems with access points. Access points were not IPv6 enabled. In many cases, it was very easy and almost at no cost. It was only to install new versions of the server, but we still have a lot of problems, and we still have problems with firewalls, so the technology is not fully mature at the level similar to what we have now in IPv4.
And we are trying to launch a challenge to universities saying now that we’re – almost all network is full stack, please provide us ideas about applications that can promote the use of IPv6. And it is said that we have no good proposals. So there was, from the user base, not a real aggressive proposal about how to promote IPv6.
So from the network provider, we are happy because our network, compared to other networks, is one of the most IPv6 compliant. As we are also the manager of the top-level domain for dot PT, we began seven years ago the compliance of our network with IPv6. We began including glue records or the possibility of glue records for IPv6, but the number of users providing IPv6 are very low. But that’s understandable because the providers, the ISPs are not having the networks compliant.
And the market is not there also. For example, we had to connect to our recession education network some handicap people association. That was a decision of the Ministry. We opened requiring IPv4 and IPv6. The company has lots of problems because in some cases they have to use and bundle links, and the links were not compliant. The ones where they could provide connectivity to the end user, that was not a problem. So the technology is not mature, and we are having a lot of problems.
There is also something that I would like to emphasize. We have been trying to be very active in teaching IPv6 technology. We have participating in EU finance projects, like – deploy. For example, next week some members of my staff will be in South Africa doing hands-on training about IPv6, but this is a problem.
And for example, even – and I don’t want to be impolite to Telefonica, but for example, in this room, we don’t have IPv6 connectivity, at least to my servers, and for example, recently I changed my mobile broadband provider. This is – and there’s no IPv6 connectivity, so I complained to the ISP, and I’m waiting for the response.
But I fully agree that we will have a significant problem. The first deadline will be May 2011, where the IN approval will be exhausted. I hope that will be a significant moment to put people more aware of the problems.
Of course, in looking to another thing – and this is my last statement – that I have been looking a few years ago the famous year 2000 bug. Everybody had a fix deadline, so they were very nervous. Now the deadline is not so – so strange, so the Internet will not stop if we still keep IPv4, but as Geoff said, the cost of IPv4 address and the difficulty in getting them will be a problem. So thank you very much.
>> FRED HARRISON: Okay. Thank you. Well, I think it’s good to get that slightly more down-to-earth analysis, mentioning that you weren’t getting any proposals for users for applications, mentioning the difficulties of actually getting IPv6 service and technology not yet mature, so I think that’s a good challenge for us to discuss.
So I think I’d quite like to open it up now for comments, statements, questions from the floor. Anybody? Yes. Please. I think there’s a microphone here, actually.
>> I have a good – then you will have IPv6 connectivity. Since last Monday.
>> FRED HARRISON: Very good, very good. Yes. Go ahead.
>> I actually don’t see the situation so much pessimistic as Pedro. I believe that two years ago we had a lot of problems with, for example, firewalls or even low-cost – but in the last year, year and a half, it changed dramatically. We are actually doing employment in all the world. We have deployment cases in Costa Rica, in many countries in Asia Pacific. I am talking about real deploying IPv6. And we don’t have any more of those problems. And I think Martin can confirm, you always – always that you deploy a new technology, you always need to look to what features are available in this product of this provider or that other product of that other provider, and especially at the beginning of the deployment of the technology, you find these type of problems.
But always you have work-around. And the reality also is if you look to measurements of how much IPv6 traffic is there, even for end users, even if they don’t have IPv6 enabled firewalls, even if they don’t have IPv6 enabled PCs, there is a lot of IPv6 traffic. I don’t want to say a number. Probably Martin has a different picture. This is happening. Even if the ISPs don’t deploy IPv6 natively, I mean, the traffic is there. And it’s increasing. I think that’s something very important that the ISPs need to start measuring because otherwise they will not realize that it’s already there, and they cannot take advantage of that.
>> FRED HARRISON: Okay. Thank you. Actually, if you want to make a comment, if you could mention your name and company, that would be helpful. So were there some other comments? You want to make a comment?
>> Yeah, I have a question. This is Carlos from Telefonica. As an engineer in the research division of Telefonica, I’ve been working with IPv6 for a long time, so I’m not suspicious to have anything against it or afraid of it. But a point is I’d like to highlight that it is true that while in the backbones, it’s easy to go to IPv6 – that is true, we have seen this in our main global carrier, Telefonica Wholesale as well – but the point is in the access, the complexity of the networks, really the deployment of IPv6.
This is not only our concern. I was last week in an ISOC meeting in the U.S., and I was talking about Comcast, and depending on your access network, it may take years to go to IPv6. So it is not exactly right that we can go to IPv6 today. We can start a way and we can pave the way.
And regarding the providers, of course, you can change the provider, but that cannot be done overnight. And at the same time, maybe it’s not okay for you. The customers are not asking for IPv6, and that is normal. They are just asking for Internet connectivity. That is true. But my question to Martin Levy is which are the scenarios that we foresee, providing that v6 will be deployed at the end, okay, let’s consider this as a fact, will we run out of – before? So dual stack scenarios are not convenient at the end? I would like to go a little bit on these technical scenarios, not just a discussion of v4, v6. All right?
>> MARTIN LEVY: Okay. I’m going to make a very simple comment first. If we – if we’re successful, whether it be in research, whether it be in academic, whether it be, if I may say, regulatory in a very light sense of the word, but in the commercial world, if we’re very successful, the end user, the person at home using broadband or mobile, will never know. If we’re very successful at what we’re doing with v6, which we haven’t been to date – and we know that – the end users, the general public should never know what IPv6 is. They just know they get their Internet – or when they pay their bill, which is quite important to everybody.
But the reality is there is a disconnect. We are going to run out of addresses before we get the type of technology and the money to deploy technology into some of the broadband networks out there. That disconnect is, in a way now, inevitable in certain parts of the world. And some places maybe ahead of time. There are broadband networks in various countries. There’s good examples out of France, the work that Comcast is doing in the U.S. There is work being done by NTTIAJ in Japan, and there’s stuff going on in Hong Kong, in Singapore, and the like, which will be ahead of the curve.
But there’s a really key point, a key measure here that will help – not so much – the question is we will have a gap, but it goes back to that general end user of the Internet. And there’s two parts to that, the person that publishes and the person that receives data. Whether you talk about it in a closed environment like Facebook or whether you talk about it in the general world, the reality is that people who host data will be better off if they host data that is v6 and v4 enabled because there will be customers that will come along that at some point will only be v6, or there will be customers that end up in a carrier-grade NAT where v4 will just not work as well as v6. And the gap is that the access providers may not get this done in time. And I’m not going to discuss the monetary aspects of what it takes to buy v4 address space to enable to continue that.
That’s really outside of my professional scope but is rather amusing to follow on another basis.
>> FRED HARRISON: Okay. Does anyone else want to make a comment on that? I know there are some other questions, but did you want to make a comment on this point? Yes. Thank you.
>> It’s a small comment. Of course I am aware that there is a big evolution in the products, in the firewalls, there was a big challenge, but maybe that’s because I’m older and older people are always more pessimistic because my retirement is approaching and IPv6 is not there.
But I don’t know, at the pace that seems to be happening, I am not very happy, and I would expect the industry to move faster. But of course, I’m aware of what’s happening.
There agencies a question you have posed and I have not answered. For example, Internet, everybody says that will be a motivation to go for IPv6 because many devices will require IPv6 address, but I don’t see many things IPv6 enabled yet, so I hope the industry provides those things, and things can be – some of them, my mobile, but other devices that will be connected to the network as soon as things are mature.
>> So Carlos, the parliament case that is out there is when you run out of v4, even private IPv4 for your own network as a provider, right, that seems to be happening quite often. And if you want to run not inside your network in order to map from private to – that seems to be a headache; right? Seems to be providers that actually are deploying IPv6 even for internal network, even though providers and their customers are not using it; right? That’s what happened with DS light, and we have all these new standards and new tools that are providing support for that; right?
>> FRED HARRISON: Okay. I think we do need to move on to the governance issues, but let’s see, we may be able to squeeze in two more questions. I did see one over there. Let’s have one there.
>> PEDRO VEIGA: Good morning. Pedro Veiga from Telefonica Research and Development. This was actually thought to be a question for Geoff, but I think you can also answer. One of the things I see is where we have the backbone that can be IPv6 enabled or the tier 1s can be IPv6 enabled without any trouble, but then you have a structure underneath that. One of the structures, you have people, tier 2, tier 3, so on, and those will, as it is now, either use provider independent addressing if they want to have some sort of reliability, or use the hierarchical routine delegated from one of the tier 1s if they sort of are confident enough on the tier 1 provider.
I’ve seen the last publications in some of the Internet registries speaking about these provider independent addressing IPv6, and it’s basically, if you have an AS right now, you can opt to have IPv6, provider independent on IPv6 addressing space.
Now my question. I’ve been investigating a bit on how the Internet routing table, the IPv4 routing table is being used or abused, and one of the things I’ve seen is that more or less a third of the IPv4 addressing space is not used for routine but for traffic engineering.
Question. Is that going to stay in IPv6?
>> I’m just going to say this really quickly. Be quiet. Shoosh. Don’t say this.
Okay. No. There’s two things. You said two things. First of all, if you are a tier 2 or tier 3 or whatever language you want to use, the RIRs, the APNICs – of the world, have basically made it very easy for an ISP to get v6 space. There is no barrier now that makes – that is of any issue to any country to any location on the globe, and we see allocations literally in every corner of the globe. This is not a problem. And that’s a good thing.
Your second point. There will be traffic engineering. There has to be. There are places in the global Internet where – I don’t like it as much as you as a researcher don’t like it. I don’t like it because it costs me money. It costs every service provider real money. We’ve already spent that money for the v4 side of the game, and most of the time if you look at the hardware designs of the way TCAMs work and the innards of routers, you realize we are also set to have an extremely v6 table. But first off we’ve got to get every service provider at least announcing and starting to route, and we’re at, I think, 21 or 22 hundred v6 enabled autonomous system numbers versus 36,000 – I’ve forgotten what the real number is now, 36 or 38 thousand in the v4 world.
So percentage wise, we’re a long way to go, but routing – routing, we’ve got further to go, and hopefully it won’t be that bad, so stay tuned. This is a problem worth – if it gets there, it may be a little bit more interesting, but for the moment, it’s we’re okay.
>> FRED HARRISON: Okay. Thank you. I’m just going to ask Geoff if he wants to respond to that as well because we’ve sent him down from the top table. He might want to make a comment.
>> GEOFF HUSTON: I’ve spent a lot of time actually looking at the routing table and routing table dynamics. A number of others have as well. It is a very interesting compromise between independence of your own address and being able to use it in any context and the rigors of routing, which is a common problem, that the routing table is a universal load that everyone has to bear. So that if I, back in Australia on the other side of the globe, assert my independent address, every single default play router on the planet gets to hear it.
Now, why doesn’t the routing table explode today? And it obviously hasn’t. Currently, the routing table grows at a rate of around 10% per year in v4. So in other words, a number of new entrants out there stays well within our technology limits, which appear to be that we can keep routing cost-effective as long as it stays within about 20% per year.
V6 is no different in routing terms. It’s the same routing technology. So that if we were seriously using v6 – and we aren’t – we would see traffic engineering routes in v6 as well as in v4. And horror of horrors, we might even see a couple hundred thousand entries in the routing table.
As such, that’s not a problem. Those aren’t big numbers. What we’re deeply concerned about, though, is there’s no economic constraint in routing. Anyone can, in theory, put routes all over the planet, and there’s no routing police that’s going to come around and say naughty, naughty, naughty.
So oddly enough, this industry has to exercise a great deal of self-constraint, and oddly enough, when you ask an industry to exercise self-constraint, sometimes you also need the regulatory side of the business to assist that self-constraint, not with rules and regulations, perhaps, but more with gentle rule and persuasion. We don’t think that v6 is going to make the routing tables blow up in our face, certainly not. But we do think that if we change the way we allocate addresses and if we start looking at mechanisms that dramatically increase the size of the routing table through different policies, country-based address registries spring to my mind, you start to create stresses on the system that will lead routing to a bad place.
Now, while it’s good that routing scales, that’s terrific, we all benefit, but if any of you in this room lead routing to a bad place, we all die because routing is as much a common problem as a common asset. So oddly enough, we all have to work together here to impose that gentle constraint that basically says do what you need to do to make money, but don’t go crazy about it because if you do, we all die with you. And it’s that delicate balance which is as much a statement as – today in v4 as it continues to be a statement in v6 that I think makes the Internet work the way it does, and it works well. Thank you.
>> FRED HARRISON: Thank you, Geoff. I want to just take one more question. Do you want to make a very brief comment on this point, then I’ll take the last question, then we’ll go to the governance issue.
>> Stating the obvious. We know the properties of current traffic engineering are not optimal; right? But it’s not like we haven’t tried; right? We haven’t tried to find alternative ways of dealing with this problem for 20 or 30 years or something? Right? So since it was conceived, we know we have this problem. If you have any great idea, please let us know; right? I mean, the community has been working hard on this, but it’s just a hard problem; right?
>> FRED HARRISON: Okay. Thank you. So thank you for being patient. We’ll just take this last question on this issue, then we’ll going to go to the governance discussion. Thank you.
>> Thank you. I work for Juniper, and there’s two main points, I think, for the discussion. One is we need to do something; right? Things are not going to work. Then many things are not going to work, right, as Marcelo said. So the thing is from a service provider point of view, how do we market IPv6 to end users? So we need to push them to move to a technology that’s going to break a lot of things; right? If you use IPv6, is there a way that we can market this IPv6 to end users? Thank you.
>> FRED HARRISON: Okay. That’s an interesting question, marketing to users. Who on the panel might want to address that one? Anybody? Yeah.
>> No, I don’t want to.
I want the service just to be Internet connectivity. The fact that it runs two protocols is in the same way that some people choose one music program to manage their music on a laptop and some use a different one.
The trick here is not the end user; it is the supplier of hardware, the supplier of the chain of communication. The USB device thaw pointed to, it’s – that you pointed to, it’s not the end user’s problem that there’s no v6; it is the chain of providers, whether it be the mobile provider or the hardware provider. So I think we have to look a little bit more internally and look at all those elements.
And yes, I have it easy. In the core of the network, in the core of the Internet, we have it easy. It’s done. It’s all the pieces as you go towards the edge. But not the end user.
>> FRED HARRISON: Okay. Anyone else want to comment? No? All right. So thank you for that. Now we’re going to do this sort of soft switch over to the other half of the panel, so if you’ll forgive us for that small interruption.
So for the discussion on governance issues, I’m going to invite Patrik Faltstom, who is senior consulting engineer with Cisco; Roland Perry, who is a Public Affairs Officer in RIPE. And next to me here, Jacques Babot from European Commission. And although we’re changing to the governance issues, I think actually there are some interrelated issues. There was one governance issue Geoff through in there as well on self-constraint and policies of governance and so on.
Okay. Now, we’re going to start with Patrik, if that’s – Patrick, if that’s okay. And I think what I’d like to ask you, Patrik, is what are you seeing as the real initiatives at the institution level in Europe? Particularly perhaps to address this issue of privacy of residential users. I know in the previous discussion in the main panel, they were talking about privacy there, so perhaps you could address those issues. Thank you.
>> PATRIK FALSTOM: Sure. Thank you very much. I think, first of all, I think many of the governments in Europe have already understood that IPv6 is important, not only for industry, et cetera, but also for specifically the services that the public sector is providing. For example, in Sweden, there is a majority of the tax returns that are done in Sweden are done over the Internet, and the question is that is it the question that the tax return office has to work on, whether their services must work over IPv6 by 2011 or not? And if the answer is yes, then you have to do something about that. If the answer is no, then they probably have to wait until 2012, but not further. Because if people in Sweden cannot hand in their taxes, that’s a pretty interesting question because the country doesn’t get the money anymore.
So that is the kind of real problems that governments have started to understand, and Jacques has a lot of stories about that, and a lot of EU-funded things have been going on.
So public services and the governments, as procurers, is probably the most important thing that is happening, that much happen much more aggressively, also because they can help very effectively by being the first buyers of tools, all of these tools that are so hard for us vendors to develop. We need customers. At the moment, we have more customers than we have tools because now finally people are asking us at Cisco, and probably Juniper as well, that they want to buy things, finally, that we have not developed yet.
Regarding privacy, in Sweden, according to legislation, there is no difference between IPv4 and IPv6. Both of them are classified as privacy information and are to be treated equally. So in Sweden and from my own perspective, there’s no difference. Thank you.
>> FRED HARRISON: Okay. Thank you, Patrik, and that raises the money issue in a different way, perhaps. Not filling in your tax return is an interesting driver, isn’t it, I guess? We talked about this issue of having to buy IPv4 addresses if we run out. So we may well find that actually money ends up driving some of these things forward more quickly.
So next we have – coming down in order – we have Roland Perry, who is with RIPE. I wonder if you could just talk a little bit about two things, really, whether we need to modify the registry system for this transition to IPv6, and then also maybe you could just address this issue of fairness of address distribution amongst regions. Thank you.
>> ROLAND PERRY: Okay. Thank you very much. On the question of the registry system and itself being modified for IPv6, I think I would be as bold to say that the regional system is one of those things in the world that’s been the most IPv6 ready for the longest time. It’s been discussed for as long as I can remember RIPE meetings, and I’ve been going to them for over ten years. And you know, the infrastructure of the RIRs themselves is one of the first to be ported across to IPv6. RIPE NCC, the Secretariat for the Registry, I think have been running all our services on IPv6 for sometime, including email. And we’ve got a startling amount of email arriving by IPv6 at the moment.
So I think there, there’s not much that really needs to be done to the registry system. But what we can do – and this is something which our membership asked us to do in October 2007 at a RIPE meeting – a RIPE meeting, if I can explain, is a twice-a-year gathering of all the RIPE members, and in fact, you don’t have to be a member. Anybody can come along. We had one in October 2007. We’ve got another one next week in Prague. What they said was everybody needs to make IPv6 a much higher priority. Please, everybody go out and do this. And one of the things that the RIPE NCC did in response to that was to set up the IPv6 Act Now website, which has got a wealth of information on it about why you should upgrade your networks to IPv6. I’ve go this brochure here, a few more with me if people are interested, or the website is IPV6actnow.
We also have information on a website going about a year now called RIPE Labs, and on RIPE Labs, we are providing a front end on some measurements that have been done for a very long time, and I can tell you at the moment that we’re about to issue some new statistics on how IPv6 ready various countries are, and it seems there are only seven countries in the region – and that region covers Europe, the Middle East, and what we call parts of central Asia, the Russian Federation – and there are only seven countries in the entire region that haven’t had an IPv6, and you can kind of go down the list and say I understand why most of those haven’t. On the other hand, only 27% of our members have got an IPv6 allocation. And while every country’s got some penetration of IPv6 allocated to it, it’s only reached one-quarter of our membership. That’s something we do have to press on much harder.
I’d also like to say a little bit about other organizations becoming involved in the governments of IPv6. I don’t think that’s necessary because we’ve been doing a job for a very long time now, and nobody’s really explained to us why that job isn’t being done well. In particular, for IPv6, every region of the world, and the five regions, which are basically the RIPE region I described before – Asia Pacific, which is Geoff’s report; Latin America; North America – each of those regions has been given an equally large lump of IPv6 to allocate on for service providers in its region. They’ve all been given a slash 2, if it means anything to you. That’s a really large number. We’ve got charts to translate that into billions of addresses. Every region has been treated equally.
Just as the current system with IPv4, should any region require any further allocations to hand out to networks in its area, then those will be forthcoming on the basis of that need.
There’s no discrimination between the regions, no discrimination inside every region. So we don’t think there’s any problem to solve.
>> FRED HARRISON: Yeah. Thank you. And then finally we have Jacques Babot, who is team leader at the European Commission, looking on future Internet research experiments, and I ask you just a very open question, really, Jacques. I know you made a comment from the floor there, which is very welcome, how the Commissioner suddenly implemented IPv6, but perhaps you’d tell a lit more about the work of the Commission in this area. Thank you.
>> JACQUES BABOT: Thank you very much. Thank you very much for inviting the Commission to explain what we are doing.
Today I think it is obvious that organizations such as this should be involved in fostering and pushing for deployment of Internet. But 15 years ago, when the Commission began to be involved in v6 deployment, it was not so obvious. In fact, for the Commission, the deployment of IPv6 is a high priority since many years because a slow-down of development of Internet means slow-down of – network if this is clear.
Second market, I mean, the black market I would say of IPv4 addresses, as Geoff said, will provoke distortion of the market, and you know that the Commission hates distortion of the market. Competition is a key aspect. Therefore, for this, we are extremely anxious, and we don’t want to see that.
And finally, a last reason also, the Commission is involved in deployment of IPv6, is innovation. Innovation is extremely important, and we have a feeling – and especially with development of Internet and things – but lack of deployment of IPv6 will, in a way, be extremely – for development of Internet and further innovation in Internet.
What we have done since 15 years? For the first ten years, I mean between ’95 and 2005, we have invested more than 100 million euro in research project for IPv6. And since five years, since 2005, there’s not much to do on the research side because technology is mature, if not available sometimes. Since five years, we have tried to push and to stimulate authorities of all Member States of Europe to move ahead, and we have difficulties.
We have done two communications. Communication is, I would say, a legal process to Member States about urgency to move. We have done two communications. The last one was in two years ago in May 2008. We have given an Action Plan. An Action Plan with different facets, an Action Plan for awareness activities. We have organized a workshop. We have launched also – on security because there is still some – I will say in French. I forget the name in English. [speaking French] – and last on curriculum training because training is a key issue for the deployment of IPv6.
– curricula will be available to the general public. We are very open to share it, not only in Europe, but also in the world, because the Internet deployment of IPv6 is a worldwide issue.
Last today is about monitoring. We have a study on monitoring to see how deployment is progressing, and we are working on this monitoring study with RIPE, and we have a number of studies implemented with RIPE to have a clear image of what is happening.
We are trying also to develop some working group, not only in Europe, but also with China, because clearly, in China, there is – the problem is even worse, and Geoff was saying it. Even if we see some good sign also in China for deployment of IPv6.
And of course, we try to show best – I mean, we want to – not to be an example for Europe, but at least inside the European Commission, we have managed to set up some steps to move to IPv6 to upgrade the network to IPv6. But it is difficult. It is really difficult because it is not difficult as a technical point of view, but it is difficult to convince the IT people in our organization to move. And I see – last Monday, we had success to set up a wi-fi IPv6 enabled access point, but to that we had to pull a cable from the computer room to the conference room. We have a clear split between the network of the Commission and this access. Okay? But we have done it. And I am sure you can do it in your own administration, and I’m sure you can do it.
We have our IPv6 webpage of our portal now available on IPv6. You can access to this, the webpage, now. And in the future, by the end of the year, I hope it will be possible to move the – website, and studies are going on with our IT general directorate for our sister IT structure. We have a study going on to move the infrastructure commission to IPv6.
Therefore, please, the message to the public authorities of your different countries, please, do it yourself. Show a good example in that.
>> FRED HARRISON: Thank you. Very good message. So it seems like we have strong support from the Commission. They’re encouraging the Member States. We have registry that’s already fit for purpose and ready to go. So I’m wondering if there are any governance issues, but maybe we’ll find some in the discussion now. So yes.
>> I would like to have the opinion of the members of this part of the panel about what should be the role of the telecommunication regulators concerning IPv6. I have my own idea, but I’d like to know yours.
>> FRED HARRISON: Okay.
>> I think the most important thing is that the public sector, actually just like private sector, manage to actually buy the IPv6 and get it deployed to solve the problem that Jacques is talking about, that you talk to IT department, nothing is happening.
So the role of the regulator, of course, first of all, it is to inspect whether there is any kind of regulation that is hampering the ability to deploy IPv6. And I don’t really know all, but implicitly, Geoff talked about that.
The second thing has to do a little bit with who is responsible in the country to look over the public services, for example. In Sweden, it’s not the telecommunication regulator. It’s actually the ministry of finance. So it’s not even the ministry that handles telecommunication, so it’s the Ministry of Finance in Sweden that is the agency that the party that can force agencies to it the right thing.
So from that point of view, it has been a little difficult in Sweden. It has been a cooperation between the Ministry of Energy and Employment and the regulator that together has been talking to the Ministry of Finance and giving them papers like this and the reports from the Commission that finally have pushed the Ministry of Finance to actually put up the mandate to the agencies that they are not allowed to do any procurement without requiring IPv6.
So it depends a little bit on the structure in the governments, which, of course, is different in different countries.
>> I think it is absolutely necessary for the public authorities, for regulators in the country, to – commission very, very strongly. In fact, we have organized a workshop for the public authorities last Monday in Brussels, and from the 27 countries of Europe, we had only four countries represented as public authorities. Of course, we had other organizations, we had telecom providers, Internet service providers, application providers. But public authorities in Europe – I am sorry to say that – they are not enough motivated for the moment.
>> FRED HARRISON: Okay. Thank you. Yes, yes, you want to go ahead. Yeah.
>> I think what I’d say is that the regulation s should find out about IPv6 and, therefore, be in a position to understand from the position – from that position of knowledge about it that there’s nothing that they need do to make it any more difficult than IPv4. They should at least understand the issues when it comes to various information websites and understand it’s not really magic or mysterious thing. It’s more like the kind of upgrade that they’re used to doing in the past from, say, 2G to 3G telephony. It’s just another way of delivering the same thing.
>> FRED HARRISON: Okay. Thank you. You may have noticed Patrik just left us. It’s not because of something we said. He has a flight at 1:00, so he had to leave. But we can continue for a few more minutes, I think, just with the remaining panel.
There was a question there, and then I’ll take – yes. Well, you’ve got the microphone, so you go first, then we’ll take that one.
>> Sorry. I didn’t mention my name before. (Indiscernible). I have a question probably more for Jacques, but probably someone else can provide some information. In Spain, for example, there is a recommendation from the Ministry of Public Administration to do all the – with IPv6 since, I think, 2003. However, it’s only a recommendation, so do you have from the Commission a specific information about these type of recommendations or some kind of stats from the different members and how this is progressing? And from RIPE, the question will be slightly different. How many public administrations got already the preferences? I know it’s public information, but maybe you have some stats on that. Thank you.
>> JACQUES BABOT: As far as I know, there is no legal obligation. In fact, we cannot really oblige this sort of thing. On our side, in the European Commission, we have indicated in the work program for research and development that the use of IPv6 is compulsory for a project which is going to use Internet and so on.
Therefore, on our side, we have to do something compulsory in the text, but I am not sure it could be fully implemented. But we have tried to do it. Okay? And I think – to put this sort of education –
>> So if I understood your question correctly, you are talking about the degree of IPv6 readiness of governments and government services and things like that? Good. That’s one thing, actually, we’re trying to do some work on at the moment. Internet provision is really utility, and what we’re finding in – certainly in our region, is that the majority of governments and government departments actually get their connectivity through the private sector. Not very many of them have actually signed up direct with RIPE NCC as an ISP in their own right.
And so also, we do ask our members what sectors they operate in. In other words, if you are a large end user, are you in the automotive or airline industry. If you are an ISP, what sector are you in? Do you have clients? This is entirely voluntary information given at the time of original registration, so it could be a little bit out of date, but now we’re doing some more work on. At the moment, we have no reason to believe that the penetration into potentially serving the public sector is either higher or lower than any other user sector that’s out there.
>> FRED HARRISON.
>> Thank you. Christopher Wilkinson. I apologize for coming in a little bit late. I hear you talking about the promoting IPv6 at the level of the national public authorities. And it’s excellent news that the European Commission has begun to take a very active role in this area. But I wonder if it wouldn’t be also – and I’d like the opinion of the panel – about promotion of IPv6 in the big cross-border sectors. I’m thinking of transport, banking, commerce, and where it will really only take off if all the participants in a major sector are cooperating in this transition.
>> Yes, of course, I think it is an excellent idea, and already in our communication two years ago, we have targeted what we call application providers. And we plan, in the next few months, surely doing the big conference we will organize in Belgium by the end of the year. We will target the application providers.
It is absolutely clear that if we want some incentive for the users to use applications, we have to be – I mean, to use IPv6-enabled applications, these applications should exist. Okay? But up to now, the application providers, we said okay, but why we develop application because IPv6 is not available? It is a chicken and egg problem. And we have really tried to work on this. I think Geoff wanted to say something.
>> FRED HARRISON: Yeah, yeah, let’s have Geoff. Do you want to say something?
>> GEOFF HUSTON: Okay. Your question about what shall telecom regulators do and what should we do in the public sector is absolutely fascinating. Don’t forget this is an industry that miscalculates both risk and opportunity and gets them both simultaneously wrong. One only needs to look at the GSM options as an industry that has no idea what class actually make. That managed to put a bunch of major TCOs on the verge of bankruptcy. They completely miscalculated risk and opportunity.
We’re going into a sort of mode of operation in the next 12 months where the current supply of addresses for the existing technology base is about to run completely dry, and the reason why we’ve done very little about it so far as an industry is that the bulk of address consumption comes from high-volume, low-margin deployment in broadband residential. This industry is wedged. And when all of a sudden the cost of the address supply line escalates dramatically, the industry stands a strong chance of going nonlinear and, again, completely miscalculating risk and opportunity.
And the industry will, once more, despite the obvious warnings of this problem, blame the regulatory system for its woes. It is never industry’s fault. They are merely obeying the signals given from the public sector. It is obviously a regulatory fault that would have occurred because there’s nothing like blame.
If I was in the regulatory sector, I would be starting to press my constituency for concrete plans. I’d be trying to at least understand to what extent they have even thought about price and auctioning and what happens on a v4 address market. And appreciate the true spectrum of what price might look like and how they might react accordingly. Because like it or not, oddly enough, the true driver for today’s industry is not the high volume, low margin. It’s the high volume, high margin. It’s the iPhone market that is leading the trend.
I look at an iPhone today, and I look for v6 inside that hermetically sealed device, and if you happen to take the effort to unseal it and look inside, there is not one packet of v6 there. I look inside the 3G operators and try and find v6 on their GGSMs. Not one packet. And if I was a regulator, I would look at this and I would see a forthcoming blame game hitting straight at me. And I would desperately try and avoid it by at least asking my constituency what is their plan? How are they alerting their supply chain? How is the influential part of this industry, high volume, high margin, mobility truly planning for the next 12 months? Because if the high-margin folk make the shift, everyone else will follow. But if they don’t make the shift and, instead, head to a worse place that starts to threaten things like openness of networks and ability to continue with end to end, if they go down another path, the industry will again follow.
So I suspect there are many dimensions to where we’re going with this transition, and there is always the option that we don’t do it. But if we don’t, the new monopolies and cartels, we stand a very strong risk of constructing will take decades again to unravel because once industry goes down that path, most regulators would understand that unraveling monopolies and cartels becomes politically as well as logistically extremely challenging.
So I suggest there is a clear call for action at this point to try and avoid some of the worst possibilities of getting the transition wrong and trying at least to prompt the industry major players to understand fully where they really are. Thank you.
>> FRED HARRISON: Okay. Thank you. I guess we can hear from the background noise we are running into the coffee break, so I want to try to draw this to a close. I want to ask Roland if he wants to respond to the question as well, which is around whether we need some initiatives to coordinate industry-level activity, then I’ll try and summarize, then we’ll close the session. So Roland.
>> ROLAND PERRY: Yeah, I’d just like to throw in an idea here, which is maybe something which will resonate with the regulator community, something they’re currently interested in. Think about this is a business continuity issue. These businesses transport banking and commerce. They need to be able to carry on into the foreseeable future, even if large disruptive events happen, and I think there’s a volcano about to erupt in 500 days.
>> I would like really to thank Geoff about his research and also the other aspects. We will use it surely. We will follow research to different Member States. And I hope we’ll see next week in Prague will you have the same clear message. It is really important to be on the same wave. Okay? Thank you.
>> FRED HARRISON: Okay. So, well, thank you all for that really interesting discussion. When I came into this, I really had not so much an understanding of where we are on this whole debate around IPv6, and I think what has become really clear to me is it’s an acute issue. The momentum is really building now for this, and we’ve seen that from a number of speakers, and of course we recognize that as issues and challenges that have been debated, so it’s not going to be easy, but it does seem to me now the take-away I would take from this is the time is now. I haven’t heard anyone else say it’s not, so this seems to be the top-level conclusion.
I guess there are other discussion that is will continue after this to take this work further forward. Clearly we’ve still got a lot of open aspects to discuss, so I think – and as well there is a closing plenary. Unfortunately, I won’t be there, but I guess one of my colleagues will give a brief report at the closing plenary on the outcomes of this morning.
Just one final thing to say. There is in this room – during the lunch period, there is to be a presentation from the Spanish IPv6 Observatory. I don’t know. Do you want to say something quickly about that so people are aware of what’s happening?
>> Yeah, it’s actually a presentation of the Spanish IPv6 – it’s not going to be in this room, but it’s going to be in the CD auditorium just around the corner, and it’s during the lunchtime, but it will be short enough; right? So that’s it.
>> FRED HARRISON: Okay. Thank you. So I’m going to close the session. Before we do, could I just ask you all to thank the panelists and all those people who asked questions to make this a really good discussion? So thank you all very much.