back to article set IPv6 upgrade deadlines

The Obama administration has set an ambitious target for all US government agencies to upgrade their networks and services to the next generation internet protocol, IPv6, by the end of September 2012. A directive from Vivek Kundra, the US chief information officer, issued on Tuesday, also calls for internal networks to be …


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  1. Anonymous Coward

    No chance!

    Obviously nobody has yet briefed Obama on what such an undertaking would actually involve!

    I'd be pretty impressed if it could be done at all, let alone in 2 years!

    Hmmm, this HSM device doesn't seem to support IPV6, lets upgrade it... ah, there isnt an upgrade to it. Ummm.... FAIL.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Nothin new

      It's been known about for over 10 years, not really Obama's fault. I think someone is pushing him to push the issue to get it started.

      As far as no upgrade for devices, again, it's been known about for over ten years, they could have incorporated this in, but they didn't because they wouldn't be able to sale you a new device.

    2. Captain Save-a-ho

      May be impossible...

      but consultants will be die trying to ensure their pockets are well-lined with fat Gov't money, bless 'em.

  2. Khaptain Silver badge
    Jobs Horns

    Call Steve Jobs immediately

    Didn't his Lordness Jobs, invent , patent and then proliferate IPV6 for one of his "magical devices". He could probably send a few bumper kits for the switches and by "magic" everything will suddenly work.

    Magic Steve - I can't imagine who else the US Gov could hire to resolve their IP problems.

    [ Hang on a minute - you mean that IP doesn't stand for Intellectual Property ]

  3. Neil Greatorex

    About time

    It was always going to take a big push to get everyone off their arses, perhaps this is the requisite impetus.

    Now then, if we could only get a similar announcement from the ConDems.......

    1. Anonymous Coward


      Pull the other one, it's got bells on.

  4. Kelvari

    This should've been done already.

    IPv6 has been a standard since 1998. Here it is 12 years later, and we're still dealing with IPv4 exhaustion issues? It sounds to me like the big businesses - and maybe government meddling - have really thrown the wrench into the works on this one.

    1. Anomalous Cowherd Silver badge

      Meddling? Hardly.

      It hasn't been adopted because a) it's expensive and b) the need isn't obviously pressing. Like peak oil or global warming perhaps, it's one of things that's always over the horizon until suddenly it's too late and you're suddenly SOL.

      Like those two (or some less emotionally charged equivalent, if you're a republican - the rapture, maybe), the only way things are going to start happening is legislation. Government, perhaps, or maybe ARIN or RIPE refusing or repealing IPv4 block allocations unless IPv6 is actively put into place alongside.

      Or perhaps we could print each remaining IPv4 address on a brick and then thrown them all in a pile. Then at least people would see the pile shrinking.

      1. Anonymous Coward

        Depends on your PoV

        "It hasn't been adopted because a) it's expensive and b) the need isn't obviously pressing."

        Well I daresay it hasn't been "obviously pressing" if you're in the ARIN/RIPE regions. Outside those regions it's been of more than passing concern.

        Expensive? Well most of APNIC runs on it one way or another so no, its not.

        I guess that'd depend on how far you'd sold your soul to your existing infrastructure vendor though ;

        1. troldman

          Re: APNIC

          >Expensive? Well most of APNIC runs on it one way or another so no, its not.

          Are you sure about that? APNIC IPv6 deployment is tiny, just like everywhere else. This report is the recent survey of their members that APNIC did

      2. streaky


        "a) it's expensive and b) the need isn't obviously pressing"

        The need /is/ obviously pressing if you bother to look at the numbers, and it's not expensive, you just need network techs who have been hit with a clue stick.

    2. jonathanb Silver badge

      It wasn't done already because

      If I spend lots of money upgrading my router to one that supports IPV6, I will see absolutely no benefit, firstly because my ISP, and some of the devices that connect to the router don't support it, and secondly because even if they did, it woudn't make my internet experience any better than it is at the moment. If my ISP was to upgrade to IPV6 support, it isn't something they can sell to customers to recover their investment because customers would see no practical benefit.

      That's why nobody is adopting it until it is too late.

      1. Quirkafleeg

        ISP support required?

        No – look up 6to4 and you'll find out how you can do it, given a suitable router.

  5. Peter 39

    Steve isn't where the problem is

    It's not a Steve issue. Macs etc have supported IPv6 for years. Same for Windows.

    The real problem is that ISPs don't support it. And there are millions of home routers that don't either. Linksys/Belkin/D-Link/Netgear and their friends stand to make a killing on this. As soon as the ISPs support it for punters. Which they don't. Sigh.

    1. Velv

      Home Networks

      Should be fine for cable customers :)

      Cable modem is usually a separate box, therefore as long as the cable box continues to do the NAT and punts IPv4 out to the home network then none of the home kit needs to worry about IPv6.

  6. Anonymous Coward

    The title is required, and must contain letters and/or digits.

    If the ExxonMobil's of the world sold or gave up the 15+ class B's they do not use publicly, we would have plenty of IPV4 addresses to last a few years more. Every enterprise network should be using private IP addresses. Check out IANA register to see who's got what.

  7. heyrick Silver badge


    Tried the IPv6 stuff on my XP.

    Was able to look up an IP address in IPv6, but then what? Couldn't connect to anything, is the 6bone even working? Is it XP? It is the Livebox? Is it a million devices in between?

    Maybe El Reg ought to do an article on getting your computer (both Unix and Windows) IPv6 ready - would be interesting to see how far we all get!

    1. Daniel B.

      Hurricane Electric

      The Register has mentioned them on most of the recent IPv6 articles. They've got a lot of stuff on how to set up IPv6.

      The 6bone experiment has ended, the IPv6 network is now in a "being deployed" status, that is, you can ask for IPv6 blocks from your RIR. There's a couple of 6in4 tunnel brokers for those w/o native IPv6, and even then, you could simply do 6to4. Anyway, check out the Hurricane Electric site. Those guys actually deployed native IPv6 on their network, and are encouraging everyone else to do so. :)

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I did for XP...

      ... was on some UK ADSL support site, can't remember which one. Probably makes about as much sense as boiled mince now :-)

      Never saw the point with Linux as it did things pretty well without user intervention/failure.

      The problem is simply that unless you designate a machine (PC) to be the tunnel router then there's not a lot going to occur. This is assuming you use the BT ADSL system in the UK.

      Reason is your ADSL router doesn't have a clue about IPv6. On more or less all of them then all you can do is allow the protocol and forward it to a machine on the local LAN. That machine will then act as the router/firewall for the rest of the (local) IPv6 network.

      This is all sounding a bit like the old internet connection sharing in Windows yeah? Well it is in that you pretty much have to keep that machine on all the time that access is required.

      Not exactly compelling for the home user really. It should have been but that point was passed 5 years ago when everyone and their dog were getting IPv4 routers.

  8. troldman

    Haven't we been here before

    Didn't USG already make such a declaration before, a couple of years ago? I can't see this making any difference. I think we'll need more effort on making IPv4 work for another decade, e.g. creating a market for IPv4 space even with all the problems that has.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      US supply

      For quite a number of years now, the US and UK defense buyers have been mandating IPv6 support in new switches and routers. I know, because I've been supplying them.

      Obviously, very anonymous for very obvious reasons.

  9. Anonymous Coward


    Only entry connections get really affected by the lack of IPv4 addresses anyway. That's why it took so long to became an issue. Most home routers are doing exactly that. Plus, as long my router supports it, the machines behind it don't need to, they can still live on IPv4 for years to come.

    "Anchored", "bolted" home desktops can't care less. No need to worry grandma for now.

    As for real Skype using on mobiles... there you go, you can freak out now.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Cisco must be licking their corporate lips!

    Not very well known outside of the networking industry, but Cisco routers do not come wih IPv6 support as standard. You have to play $$$ extra for that capability!

  11. Dazed and Confused

    Been coming for a while

    They've been threatening to do this for a while. Got all the vendors in a Panic about this a couple of years ago. Suddenly stuff that used to support IPv6 as an after thought could do full IPv6 only.

    Unless someone that big started waving a stick the industry was never going to get off its arse.

    Of course it still remains to be seen whether the rest of the world will ever bother. Its a lot of arses to get off for no visible benefit. I suspect it will take a major telco to say they'll only provide IPv6 over some new generation of broadband links and call it G6 before the world & his dog take any notice.

  12. Anonymous Coward


    IPv6 will be a bear to transition. It ain't gonna be clean - no gov't purchasing office will understand, "We need x-hundred million dollars worth of new networking kit because the old ones that YOU made us buy instead, to save money, don't support IPv6 (or have an interoperability problem with this other kit we can't get rid of, etc)". That kind of explanation goes in one ear and out the other, cuz it can't be that they were penny wise and pound foolish. It's just IT folks being greedy, right?

    I love how these silly "could be as short as" estimates keep coming up. Sure, it -could- die within one year. If you assume the highest lease rate is the norm, that said rate is a constant, that no IPv4 addresses are released, re-used, or re-cycled, that every device that acquires an address stays in use rather than getting thrown away or replaced... an effort to make us see urgency instead comes across as scare-mongering.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The boy who called wolf...

    ...well maybe FINALLY this is it? IPv4 addresses run out in the "western" world?

    I'm not holding my breath although even with the huge numbers of IPv4 addresses controlled by ARIN/RIPE I guess it has to happen.

    Should have done years ago, now uptake of native IPv6 (rather than tunnelled) is going to be screwed due to consumers having IPv4 routers that can't do anything about firewalling/routing IPv6. Who wants to "upgrade" again when the "upgrade" doesn't deliver anything for the end-user - and if you think you can sell the idea of ~64000 local devices having an IP address of their own to parents then think again :-D

    /me looks at an O'Reilly book on shelf - IPv6 Essentials.

    First edition, so that means 2002. It had a huge layer of dust on it. I actually had an IPv6 allocation from AAISP back then and it was fun playing with it, even if it did have to be tunnelled over IPv4 to get it across BT's ADSL network.

    The network engineers over in the APNIC area must be falling off their seats laughing.


    Well I think I'll put the book back on the shelf for a few more years....

  14. The Vociferous Time Waster

    There you go, up in the top left corner. All those boys who grabbed a large address space need to have it wrestled back off them. GE for example use their public address space internally for desktops.

    1. Goat Jam
      Paris Hilton


      to be fair, everyone did that back in the day. NAT hasn't been around for ever you know.

    2. Ken Hagan Gold badge

      IPv4 addresses galore!

      If the US government transitions to IPv6, then gazillions of IPv4 addresses can be returned to the pool and the rest of the US/Europe block can ignore the problem for another decade or so. They'd be wise to, as well, since with *.mil on the new protocol the spooks will probably assume that anyone *else* using IPv6 is a terrorist.

  15. Eduard Coli


    Yes, originally IPv6 was going to save us from running out of addresses amongst other things but since the beginning the feature creep(s) have seen that it can remove anonymity and helps with packet identification and control.

  16. Dennis Healey

    Simple really

    Tax all routers that are not compliant with the standard (from say 6 months time).

    Stand back and wait 2..3 years - the place will not crash and burn in mean time.

    By then a high proportion of people will have it and if they have got it will start using it - a seamless transition.

    I'll accept a pint of you all.

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