On this day one year ago I was sitting in a hotel room in London, hanging out online with Vint Cerf and engineers from Google and Comcast, discussing how tech leaders around the world had come together in unprecedented fashion to declare it time to turn on IPv6, together, all over the world. It was an ambitious plan. Only one year earlier the world had tested IPv6 on a global scale for the very first time. Now, the IP Industry was boldly declaring victory. No more tests, no more trials. IPv6 had left the laboratory — for good. It was now, or never.
Months before, at the towering headquarters of Comcast in a room high above downtown Philadelphia, the Internet Society organized one of the planning sessions for the World IPv6 Launch. With a sparkling backdrop of the earth’s horizon in the distance, representatives from the founding World IPv6 Launch participants (Akamai, AT&T, Cisco, Comcast, D-Link, Facebook, Free Telecom, Google, Internode, KDDI, Limelight, Bing, Time Warner Cable, XS4ALL and Yahoo!) discussed what it meant to “Launch” IPv6. There was a white board, with a hand drawn chart as our goal. We talked, argued, compromised, and ultimately came to consensus on how we could “move the needle”, and whether it was too bold a proposition to even try. We settled on 1% as an individual ISP goal, knowing that this value as measured from a content provider would correspond to more than a simple trial. Many ISPs reached, and exceeded, that by June 2012. A few months later, the world reached that goal.
I’m thrilled to see that, even a year later, end-to-end IPv6 adoption shows no measurable sign of stopping. IPv6 deployment has been doubling every 9 months since World IPv6 Day. Large scale DSL, Fiber, Cable, and Wireless deployments have joined Enterprises and Content providers across the world, stitching together a new Internet infrastructure. Fit Google’s global IPv6 deployment data to a logistic curve of technology adoption, and the 50% tipping point where IPv6 takes over IPv4 is only 5 years away.
IPv6 is not only important to the Internet of today, it is critical to the Internet of Everything to come. Working on IPv6 over the past several years has been exciting and rewarding in many ways. I have made a lot of good friends along the way, and am witnessing the birth of a New Internet Protocol first hand.
Happy First Birthday, World IPv6 Launch! May you have many, many, more.