back to article EU sets ambitious IPv6 target

The European Commission is pushing for 25 per cent of the bloc's government bodies, industry and public to switch to IPv6 by 2010, amid warnings that the current IPv4 protocol is fast running out of net addresses. Doom-mongers have said for years that a shortage of the current generation of addresses will soon limit the growth …


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  1. Olof P

    Re: Straight bananas

    I thought this was settled once and for all many years ago. The only thing the regulations affect is how they're classified. The directive states that bananas may not have "abnormal curvature of the fingers", and a nicely bent banana has a completely normal shape.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    it's all very well but..

    ..what is the point of the EU and the government setting "ambitious targets" of migrating to IPv6 when there is (as far as I'm aware) no ISP in the UK that will hand out IPv6 addresses to their customers? until ISPs start dishing out IPv6 addresses on their broadband packages, there is absolutely no point any other organisation going any further, since the speed of take-up on the IPv6 road is down to if and when ISPs will start handing out addresses (or blocks of addresses) to their customers.

  3. David Cornes

    More help needed

    As an IT geek I've been pondering experimenting and going IPv6 at home for a while, but a lack of guidance has left me unsure of how to proceed. I'll need a router upgrade I guess, are there any ADSL ones available? Will I still have to talk to the rest of the Internet in v4? Does my ISP have to implement v6 before I can do likewise? How will DNS work? What about all the apps coded to expect v4 addresses, both in their innards on in things like dialog boxes?

    The list goes on...

  4. M

    So that would be Akamai then?

    Just wondered what the top 100 sites that the needless red tape brigade would like upgraded to IPv6 were....

    Looking on Netcraft, 99 of them would appear to be hosted by Akamai (at least for content delivery)

    So they just need to pursade one company and they can call it a success (and I rather suspect Akamai is already someway down that road).

    Coat? Mines the one with the stack of IP's in the pocket >80)

  5. daniel Silver badge

    How about breaking up a few class A's...

    IBM has a class A (, a long with quite a few others.

    Do they really need 16 million routable numbers each?

    When I worked in France, all our workstations had one of these addresses - all of which on the campus could have been installed with a private NAT'ed class B address somwhere in the 172's or even just replace corporatewide 9. with 10.

    Same goes for the DOD, 3M and a couple of others... That could free up another few percent...

    10 companies freeing up in total 100 000 000 addresses, that's another 2.5 % freed up.

    So do we really have 3,5 billion used ip addresses - or just a hell of a lot of slack space?

    Some companies give you 8 addresses, even if you only need 2 or 3. The rest is locked up but never used, so potentially, plus the class A subnets that are still classed as unused or reserved could be opened up, and we could reclaim 20 to 50% more available addresses, pushing off - once again - the IPV4 depletion monster that screams the immediate death of the internet in the next 12 months that keeps rearing it's head since the late 90's!

  6. Brian Miller

    Act now, only 676,520,100 addresses left!

    Better grab them now before they're all gone!


    Could somebody clue them in for a moment of sanity? While someone may be daft enough to IP-enable kitchen appliances, will they be directly addressable on the web, or will it all go through your home's router? My guess is the router.

    Do all the government computers need to be directly addressable from the Internet? My guess is not. From what I've read, it would be a really good idea to NAT all of them. (Hear that, Pentagon? This means you!)

  7. amanfromMars Silver badge

    Virtual Proxy Government Administration from AIMachines CyberIntelAIgents

    "the latest internet technology, " ...... Now that's always a slippery Phish. What Bait Attracts the Shoals for their Feeding Frenzies.

    You do Realise that every Day, in every Way , is dDeeply Embedding Semantic Code, more dDeeply Embedded into the Heart of the Kernels of Human Operating Systems.

    And so Sweetly Barbed as to Forever Remain Driving Forward towards the Thriller Application.... AIVengeance ..... QuITe Natural Binary Justice?

  8. Eduard Coli
    Gates Horns

    IP6 = Big Brother

    I hope it never comes to pass, IP6 used to have lots of good ideas about efficient routing and payload but since has been turned to a vehicle for DRM and eavesdropping.

  9. Ted van de Weteringe
    Dead Vulture

    No taps -> no ipv6

    My ISP has several excellent ipv6 services but none are in the official portfolio (instead deemed "experimental") because apparently it is illegal to offer communication transport services that are untappable, and this protocol is for now. Thank you EU for your consistency.

  10. Quirkafleeg
    Thumb Up

    Re: How about breaking up a few class A's…

    Yes, break them up :-)

    “So do we really have 3,5 billion used ip addresses - or just a hell of a lot of slack space?”

    More like 3.5 milliard, but there probably *is* a lot of slack.

    “Some companies give you 8 addresses, even if you only need 2 or 3.”

    And for good reason: if they hand you a /30 rather than a /29, you get only two useable out of four rather than 6 out of 8.

    (It's a little bit unfortunate that, many years ago, one group of people used the first address in a block as the broadcast address and another group used the last address, and we all ended up with two unuseable addresses per block rather than one…)

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Oh, what sad times are there when passing ruffians can say "NAT" at will to old ladies

    Does my ISP provider give out IPv6 addresses and does he have dual-stack routing? Hell no. He's waiting for his customers to foot the bill (i.e. the first one who squeaks has to pay). These in turn are waiting for a free upgrade to dual-stack routing etc, etc. etc.

    Obligatory reference for Truth:

  12. Chris Miller


    If you've got more than one Vista PC handy, try pinging between them:

    C:\>ping xxxxxx

    Pinging xxxxxx [fe80::cbf:8fc9:32b9:814c%9] from fe80::5d27:69f0:96bf:735a%9 with 32 bytes of data:

    Reply from fe80::cbf:8fc9:32b9:814c%9: time=1ms

    Reply from fe80::cbf:8fc9:32b9:814c%9: time=1ms

    Reply from fe80::cbf:8fc9:32b9:814c%9: time=1ms

    Reply from fe80::cbf:8fc9:32b9:814c%9: time=1ms

    Ping statistics for fe80::cbf:8fc9:32b9:814c%9:

    Packets: Sent = 4, Received = 4, Lost = 0 (0% loss),

    Approximate round trip times in milli-seconds:

    Minimum = 1ms, Maximum = 1ms, Average = 1ms


  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    IPV6 extends IPV4

    Switch done as far as I'm concerned. Do I get some government money?

  14. FRLinux

    few rectifications...

    @daniel : class A is a /8, not /24

    @chris miller : fe80:: is a local address, hardly proper IPv6 routing.

    May I suggest this nice site :

  15. tony trolle

    V5 ?

    For the last 15 years or so I always wondered wot happen to V5 ;-)


    Any way if I want to address my toaster and other stuff in the kitchen; and others are mad enought also should me not be thinking IPv7 or V8 (mine's the carrot juice)

  16. Chris Miller


    fe80 is indeed a link-local address - my point is that pretty much all modern IP implementations include support for IPv6 and many of them will use it by default where available. So for SOHO users the change needn't be too traumatic. If you're responsible for thousands of IP devices, a little more planning may be advisable :)

  17. amanfromMars Silver badge

    Apparently illegal it is not, but rather much more Inconvenient.

    Oh dear, what a shame, much ado about nothing with nobodies looking for the Harry LimeLight.

    "because apparently it is illegal to offer communication transport services that are untappable, " .... By Ted van de Weteringe Posted Tuesday 27th May 2008 21:15 GMT

    A hoary old myth injudiciously spread to give the Ignorant Advanced Insight and Hands on Power and Control, both of which they do not Understand for Rightful Exercise of ITs Power and Control. Always Best to Just Ignore such Self Serving Myths, Ted van de Weteringe

  18. daniel Silver badge

    @FRLinux, @Quirkafleeg

    @FRLinux : You are quite right ; Should not comment when tired ;) but I understant what I meant even if the rest of the world does not : (24 usable bits rather than 8 fixed bits!) It makes more sense than AManFromMars though!

    @Quirkafleeg: Quite right, 8 addresses -1 default gateway, -1 broadcast leaves 6.

    One solution could be using a common network like some hosters are doing now; You do not get your private network with a private server colocation, but you are in a pool with several hundred or thousand other machines. This makes for more efficient network address use. Somthing like this could also be used for companies that want to host their own IP's at the end of a dedicated data line rather than giving a dedicated subnet, you get 3, 15, or 93 addresses, all depending on your needs... may need some changes to the ISP's core networking infrastructure though, installing bridges everywhere!

  19. foo_bar_baz
    Thumb Up

    @Dan & co claim to offer IPv6, came across them via Phormwatch.

    My ISP here on the mainland offers IPv6 free to home customers who have one of their more expensive plans, but as I have a "business" connection they want to charge an additional €10/month. I'm considering it for educational purposes.

  20. David Haworth

    apple airport

    I might add that I use an apple airport extreme do do my natting, and it auto-configures ipv6 tunnels for me. This means that any machine on my network that wants to configure ipv6 can do so, and use it and my ISP knows no different.

    I know it's not an ideal solution, but as an easy work around, it solves the immediate problem until my ISP catches up.


  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Where I work, we have loads of IPv4 addresses

    So, we aren't likely to switch anytime soon.

    If we stay on IPv4, everyone (IPv4 or IPv6) can access our websites, email and so on. If we move, it will cost money (at least for the resources to design, test and implement the changes) and then we might have compatibility issues with some IPv4 clients. Why the hell would we want to risk that? How should I sell that to management?

  22. Dave

    technology versus administrative cleanliness

    Seems to me that technology of allowing IPv6 to grow organically provides the path of lesser resistance.

    Although the notion of asking all the 'big' IP users (in both senses!) to hand back all their numbers and NAT at the boundary (as they surely do already) has some sort of emotional appeal (just the idea that ALL_OF_IBM having only, say, 32 IP numbers by which it is publicly known would be neat), the concommitant administrative repercussions would be endless. So, clearly, this is the solution the (b)ureaucrats should be pursuing! Jobs for life!! They are biting off their noses to spite their faces in making plans to impose v6

  23. Ted van de Weteringe


    You must know I live in Holland, not on Mars. It is the official word from my ISP: government requires all of the ISP's traffic to be tappable (not understandable per se: you may of course still encrypt on your side) and _apparently_ the necessary hardware does not yet exist for ISP-wide deployment.

  24. James Anderson
    Thumb Up

    Eggless chickens.

    while (true) {

    Nobody hosts IPV6 web sites, because ISPs dont bother supporting IPV6, becuase users don't want IPV6 because nobody hosts IPV6 web sites


  25. Steve

    I see no reason to switch

    As the comments above make dazzlingly clear we have enough IP4 addresses for quite some time, if we eliminate wastage

    If we take away the security problems of giving every device a globally unique identifier, the only thing holding me back would be the complete lack of information out there.

    How will it affect my network hardware?

    How will it affect my DNS?

    How will it affect my software?

    Why should I relearn everything?

  26. Dan Clark

    Why wait?

    Why wait for IPv6? Hurricane Electric offers a free tunnel broker - You can get yourself a /48 AND /64 with HE - just in case you want to build a network bigger than the entire internet in your back room.

    As google already offer ipv6 (, what we really could do with now is an injection of IPv6-edness to make the beeb, microsoft, etc available on the IPv6 infrastructure. I'd be surprised if the reg did wait till 2010 - in fact being the type of site the reg is, I'd be surprised if we got to this time next year.

  27. Aodhhan
    Gates Horns

    Notta big deal

    It isn't like IPv4 is just going to stop being used. It will live on for a while. Most routers now are dual honed and can work with both.

    You can learn a lot, including how many large corporations and governments are handling this move by going to

    For Vista owners, you can take advantage of IPv6 by learning how to use Windows Meeting Space. Allowing you to easily control your PC at home from work, or collaborate wtih others through all the evil security equipment.

    Happy reading

  28. amanfromMars Silver badge

    Hoitjes ..... Alles Goed?

    "You must know I live in Holland, not on Mars. It is the official word from my ISP: government requires all of the ISP's traffic to be tappable (not understandable per se: you may of course still encrypt on your side) and _apparently_ the necessary hardware does not yet exist for ISP-wide deployment." .....By Ted van de Weteringe Posted Wednesday 28th May 2008 10:41 GMT

    Thanks for that info, Ted, but surely they have only made it apparently illegal for no other practical purpose than to know what everyone is capable of doing and may be doing, although as you say, some things will go right over their heads even should they tap into ITs Source .... and what they do glean can be very convenient for them and some privileged information is bound to be too juicily tempting for them to ignore and it wouldn't be normal for them not to want to capitalise on an Advantage.

  29. Anonymous Coward

    @Dan - it's all very well but..

    Entanet offer IPv6 addresses, admittedly it's still only a trial, but they do provide them and I understand the trial has been quite successful. But then they're the only UK ISP that's ready with 21CN (or WBC, whatever) for the the launch and are also involved in the start up of the FTTP trials

  30. Quirkafleeg


    “@Quirkafleeg: Quite right, 8 addresses -1 default gateway, -1 broadcast leaves 6.”

    That's -1 network address & -1 broadcast (ideally, they'd both be the same address – .0). -1 default gateway leaves you with 5.

  31. Kevin Kitts
    IT Angle


    it won't matter unless the big companies take it up first. Ask Joe HomeUser to configure their IP version, and you'll get that 1000-yard stare (and if you're lucky, a perfunctory "huh?!"). The ISPs have to drive it, then the businesses have to follow. Only then, when company-based denial of service occurs ("Why can't I get to anymore?") will people call up their ISP and request help converting to IPv6.

    That is, if the ISPs want to lay their reputations on the line. After all, it'll be their asses in a sling if they say IPv6 is secure, and some ugly security hole pops up (and military secrets flow out like water down a storm drain). Unfortunately, other governments have gotten there first, and their black-hat types probably have an arsenal of flaws ready to exploit as soon as a worthwhile target arises. While I'm sure the US and UK governments have started testing IPv6, there's nothing like a full-scale beta test to find errors - just ask any Windows Vista user.

    Rule #1: Never buy a version 1.0 of anything - wait for the first patch, and then make sure it works.

    Rule #2: Count your fingers, count your toes, count your relatives...did you really get a good deal?

    It might be possible to get a wide-scale, low-cost alternative IPv6 testbed going, if you gave a little (okay, a big) financial incentive to colleges and universities to upgrade to IPv6 (not including mission-critical stuff like admissions, finances, etc - they can stay IPv4). Students generate tons of traffic, with very little mission-critical stuff that needs to be sent. Students can go back to handing in paper copies of assignments instead of emailing them, at least temporarily. If IPv6 breaks, the students can go hang out, study, play sports, real financial loss (and net health gains in most cases). They can also be encouraged to abuse IPv6, to see if they can break it.

    How many BitTorrents does it take to get to the center of an IPv6 crash? One, two-hoo, three **crunch**. [Sorry, American commercial-related humor there.]

    Seriously, the only way to test IPv6 is to test it (like learning to swim by swimming instead of reading about it). Somebody's got to do it, and if anyone needs new computers on a regular basis, it's the colleges and universities. Throw them a bone, and you'll find they'll be very receptive - as will the students once they get a taste of higher bandwidth and faster computers. Maybe then decisions can be made with confidence, and who knows, maybe the students and teachers will find a few major holes that will force the standards associations to take a step back and re-work IPv6 into IPv7 (or at least 6.01) - without the potential for making currently equal users into upper-class and lower-class users.

    To the standards associations: next time, ADDRESSES ONLY!!! After that, only ONE component at a time, and make sure each one works correctly before you go to the next one! Don't make IP a spaghetti protocol, you morons! [Look up "spaghetti code" for a description].

    You know, they should just scrap IPv6 and go to IPv7. Like Windows should be re-written from the ground up to run correctly, and should come pre-packaged with emulated versions of all previous MS OS's for backwards compatibility. Same concept, strip all the other stuff out of IPv6 and go for addresses only. Maybe then they'll have a snowball's chance in hell of assuring reliability.

    But I'm not holding my breath.

  32. Tony

    Re: it's all very well but..

    Andrews & Arnold, a UK ISP (, have been handing out IPv6 addresses for years to those who have asked for them. I think the problem is that no one really wants them ...

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