Regulating IPv6 Deployment

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Mat Ford
Technology Insights, Internet Society
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May 25, 2021

I was recently honoured to be asked to present and participate on a panel of experts for the BEREC public technical workshop on IPv6 deployment across Europe. BEREC is the Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications with the aim to foster ‘independent, consistent and high-quality regulation of digital markets for the benefit of Europe and its citizens.’ BEREC has no formal mandate with regard to IPv6 deployment, however their strategic priorities linked to promotion of full connectivity, supporting sustainable markets, and empowering end-users mean that monitoring IPv6 deployment and helping to share best practice with regard to strengthening deployment are very much on their agenda.

In my presentation I talked about the diversity of IPv6 deployment globally and within Europe, where some countries are leading the world (e.g. Belgium) while others have yet to see any significant deployment at all. I used case studies from Belgium, the UK and Saudi Arabia to illustrate the importance of fostering multi-stakeholder collaborative fora for erstwhile competitors to share data and work together to overcome deployment challenges.

The agenda for the workshop and the contributors’ presentations are available on the BEREC website.

The panel discussion, moderated by Mr. Pierre Bonis CEO of Afnic (registry for the .fr ccTLD), included interesting questions about the ability and desirability for European regulatory authorities to intervene in the process of IPv6 deployment. In Germany the public administration has taken its responsibility to provide IT services to everyone everywhere without discrimination as a mandate to make IPv6 support mandatory. By extension this mandate is seen as an opportunity to reinvent the IT service delivery processes and remodel them in the image of open, multi-stakeholder institutions like ICANN and the IETF. A very proactive and enlightened approach!

Panellists were largely in agreement that public administrations would do well to follow Germany’s lead in requiring IPv6 support in the services that they provide to their citizens as the best way to stimulate demand for IPv6 services and to encourage more widespread adoption across all service providers.

You can always get the latest picture of IPv6 deployment on a global, national, website and per-network basis from our Enabling Technologies page

Photo by Sam Moqadam on Unsplash