Regional Internet Registries Appeal for IPv6 Investment at OECD Conference on “The Future of the Internet Economy”

The cost of migrating the Internet infrastructure to IPv6 will be significant, but the cost of not making this investment will end up being far higher

The Number Resource Organization (NRO), which is made up of the world’s five Regional Internet Registries (RIRs), AfriNIC, APNIC, ARIN, LACNIC and the RIPE NCC, today issues an appeal for investment in Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6) infrastructure.

With approximately 85% of all available IPv4 Internet addresses already in use by May 2008, the NRO predicts that the remaining stock of unallocated IPv4 addresses will be consumed by around 2011.

Internet addresses are allocated on an ‘as-needed’ basis. Firstly, they are allocated to the RIRs from a central pool and then each RIR distributes them within their region. This system prevents any one country from running out of addresses before its neighbours and ensures that the supply to all regions is maintained.

RIRs are responsible for managing the allocation, assignment and registration of Internet number resources.

Geoff Huston, Chief Scientist at APNIC: “At present, a small percentage of the Internet infrastructure supports IPv6. Significant investment in the infrastructure of the network is required to enable the transition from IPv4 to IPv6. The cost of migrating the Internet infrastructure to IPv6 is significant considering the global scope of the task, but the cost of not making this investment will be far higher. And, ultimately, it’s the end user population who will have to bear this cost.”

Axel Pawlik, Managing Director of the RIPE NCC states: “IPv6 is vital to the Internet economy. In order to sustain this rapidly growing, global industry, we urge all stakeholders to help accelerate the widespread deployment of IPv6.”

Tarek Mohamed Kamel, Minister for the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology, Egypt: “The current dialogue on IPv6 between global governments, business leaders, technical experts and academics is crucial to ensure that users around the world continue to benefit from the innovation that new infrastructure and new Internet space will bring. Our efforts to ensure the free and open access attributed to the development of the Internet must be continued so that we can fully realise the benefits.”