Nibbles & Bits

IPv6 in 2023: The Year in Review

by | January 24, 2024

IPv6 in 2023: The Year in Review

There is always a lot going on in the IPv6 space. Sometimes, it’s notable progress that is being made toward the widespread adoption of this protocol. In other cases, there are frustrating setbacks or delays, or even announcements about new technologies. For everyone in the networking industry, keeping up with the latest in this space is an important responsibility. The article below will offer a quick recap of what you might have missed during 2023. 

Looking at the Raw Data

A colorful and retro graphic with two boxes. One box highlighting 41.7%, and the other box highlighting users accessing Google through IPv6 in December 2023.

At the end of each year, it’s interesting to look at the overall adoption of IPv6 in a variety of places. While progress continues to be made, it seems to come in fits and starts, and is not consistent across the board.  

For a starting point, let’s look at traffic running through Google on the web. As of the first day of 2023, the data provided by Google showed that 41.96% were accessing Google through IPv6. Moving forward to December 20th, 2023 – which is the most recent data point as of this writing – that number has actually fallen slightly to 41.17%. There is also data from Facebook to consider, which shows a similar trend but higher percentages. For U.S. traffic, Facebook reported 60.37% using IPv6 at the start of 2023 and 59.36% by the close of the year. 

So, essentially, there has been no meaningful change in either direction during this calendar year in terms of Google and Facebook traffic and IPv6 usage. That’s not the story everywhere, however. Comcast, for example, reports IPv6 deployment at 73%, which is a gain since the start of the year. When viewed through the lens of a massive ISP like Comcast, the move toward IPv6 adoption certainly looks far more positive. 

Other Important Networking News

Not everything in the networking space revolves around the move to IPv6. There are plenty of other important events going on, including these highlights  –

  • Keep Ukraine Connected Project. With the ongoing events in Ukraine, one of the big challenges is keeping the country connected and providing internet access to as many people as possible. Many important players in this industry are taking an active role in supplying equipment to Ukraine and completing other initiatives, including Jan Zorz, Vice President of 6connect Labs. 
  • Focus on diversity. Throughout the industry, a continued focus has been placed on improving the diversity within this community. One such example can be seen in the programming at the NANOG 89 Conference, where there were multiple events aimed at helping to level the playing field for minority groups who traditionally haven’t been properly represented in networking, and the RIPE 86 Diversity in Tech panel. 
  • Packet Pushers recap. The popular Packet Pushers podcast released their “IPv6 End of Year Wrap-Up” episode that is certainly worth a listen. One notable, and exciting note from that episode is the fact that India has pushed its IPv6 adoption well over 80%, which is easily the best rate around the globe. Such a high percentage in a country with such a significant population is an important accomplishment and should provide hope for the future of adoption in all other major nations. 

Notable AIS23 Presentation

The Africa Internet Summit ’23 might not get quite as much attention as some of the other networking events, but it was full of important information and valuable insights. The Number Resource Organization session, featuring the CEO of LACNIC, Oscar Robles, was particularly notable for the future of IPv6. This presentation highlighted how expensive it is getting for organizations to stick with IPv4, and how the economic case is starting to stack up in favor of businesses making the change right away. 

Big Happenings at 6connect

Playing an important role in the networking industry, 6connect is proud to continue to innovate in this space and deliver new technologies that can serve a variety of customers in many different industries. In partnership with IPv4.Global and 6connect, the ReView tool was updated to ReView 2.0 this year, adding a number of new features and capabilities with more on the way in 2024. As this is a free tool, we are very excited to work with IPv4.Global in getting new tools for network operators out in the world. We are also looking forward to the feedback we are getting from the field to create a useful roadmap and expand capabilities over time. If you would like to check it out, you can download it from the IPv4.Global website

It’s a Long Way from Over

We saw a lot of great progress within the IPv6 space in 2023, but the process of adoption across the web is far from complete. This is sure to be a topic that needs to continue to be monitored in 2024 and beyond, and with any luck, consistent progress will continue to be made across the industry. Here’s to a great new year!

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