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World IPv6 Launch: Impact on the Web

June 5, 2012 - 2 Comments

These days, I’m often being asked “how much content is going to be on IPv6 out there, June 6th onward”, or “what is the true impact of World IPv6 Launch?” So I scratched my head, and tried to come up with a meaningful way to answer. Consider this my best estimate so far:

Close to 30% of pages viewed on the Internet globally, will be reachable over IPv6 after June 6th 2012.

I based my calculation on two sources:

  1. The list of web sites that have publicly stated their participation in the World IPv6 Launch here
  2. traffic stats here with the estimated percentage of pages viewed on these very same sites  (averaged over last 3 months).

My estimate was based on analysis I did it for web sites among the Alexa’s TOP 500 participating in the World IPv6 Launch globally (indeed, the vast majority of the content) and estimated the other 2500+ smaller sites to add a very small fraction (the long tail if you will) .

Let’s do the math!

5.438% (Google) + 5.336% (Facebook) + 3.861% (YouTube) + 1.338% (Yahoo)…etc….etc…etc… = 27.2%

Boom! On June 6th 2012, the IPv6 pages “addressable market” went from 3% (as measured on May 20th) to 27.2%.  The reality… it will most likely be a larger number fairly quickly if one consider a lot of smaller sites did not bother registering on the Internet Society list of participating web sites.

What does this mean?

If such a thing as a “global IPv6 user” would exist, they would reach an IPv6 page roughly 30% of the time. Of course this avatar of a global average Internet user does not exist.

Internet users sit at home, in their office, at their neighborhood cafe and are geographically located by definition. Also they have different language, and a typical Russian Internet user is unlikely to look at the same pages or use the exact same sites, as an average American, Brit, Australian, Chinese or Italian.

It is important we find a reliable way of measuring the weight of each web site on a per country basis, so that each country builds their own model to assess “how much IPv6 stuff is out there”.
And make no mistake, I’m NOT predicting that as all of a sudden 30% of the Internet TRAFFIC will be IPv6 overnight.

In order to measure traffic, real users need to access this content and pull up these pages. Remember! as part of World IPv6 launch, a number of network operators have committed to enabled 1% of their subscribers and to make IPv6 a per default service for every new subscriber. They key point to realize is that these IPv6 subscribers are also going to have a destination in IPv6, too.

The IPv6 subscriber growth is going to be steady and it’s already started and accelerated across the globe, as can be seen here. For example we see on June 5th, 2012 that US is at .92% of IPv6 users, China .56%, France 4.7%, Romania 6.3%).

The good news: these users have (on average across the global Internet) 30% of the content available natively across IPv6. This is what the industry in an unprecedented collaboration effort has achieved through World IPv6 Launch. And it’s huge!


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  1. No more excuses ! The mexican stand-off is over.
    Content is here, users are ramping up.
    all we need is ACCELERATION ! 

  2. World first press conf via WebEx over IPv6 – With @erikkline and @vint_cerf of #Google @alainfiocco of Cisco #v6launch