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Article
Publication date: 5 November 2020

Brenden Kuerbis and Milton Mueller

The data communications protocol supporting the internet protocol version 4 (IPv4) is almost 40 years old, and its 32-bit address space is too small for the internet. A…

Abstract

Purpose

The data communications protocol supporting the internet protocol version 4 (IPv4) is almost 40 years old, and its 32-bit address space is too small for the internet. A “next-generation” internet protocol version 6 (IPv6), has a much larger, 128-bit address space. However, IPv6 is not backward compatible with the existing internet. For 20 years, the internet technical community has attempted to migrate the entire internet to the new standard. This study aims to address important but overlooked questions about the internet’s technical evolution: will the world converge on IPv6? Will IPv6 die out? or will we live in a mixed world for the foreseeable future?

Design/methodology/approach

The research offers an economically-grounded study of IPv6’s progress and prospects. Many promoters of IPv6 sincerely believe that the new standard must succeed if the internet is to grow, and assume that the transition is inevitable because of the presumed depletion of the IPv4 address resources. However, by examining the associated network effects, developing the economic parameters for transition, and modeling the underlying economic forces, which impact network operator decisions, the study paints a more complex, nuanced picture.

Findings

The report concludes that legacy IPv4 will coexist with IPv6 indefinitely. IPv6 is unlikely to become an orphan. For some network operators that need to grow, particularly mobile networks where the software and hardware ecosystem is mostly converted, IPv6 deployment can make economic sense. However, the lack of backward compatibility with non-deployers eliminates many network effects that would create pressure to convert to IPv6. A variety of conversion technologies, and more efficient use of IPv4 addresses using network address translation, will support a “mixed world” of the two standards for the foreseeable future.

Originality/value

The authors’ conceptualization and observations provide a clearer understanding of the economic factors affecting the transition to IPv6.

Details

Digital Policy, Regulation and Governance, vol. 22 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2398-5038

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Article
Publication date: 1 February 2004

Robert W. Kerbs

We have not seen an Internet‐based game that can be identified with the arrival of Internet gaming for the masses. Due to the foundational structure of the Internet, there…

Abstract

We have not seen an Internet‐based game that can be identified with the arrival of Internet gaming for the masses. Due to the foundational structure of the Internet, there probably will not be one anytime soon. The problem is that the underlying Internet protocol, IPv4, has not had a major update since its introduction in the early 1970s. Fortunately, in the mid‐1990s the standards‐based Internet Engineering Task Force began addressing IPv4’s deficiencies. The result of these efforts is a new version of IPv4 called IPv6. IPv6’s entry will present the Internet gaming community with many opportunities as well as challenges. One of biggest challenges is that the rollout of IPv6 will take years for completion necessitating its coexistence with IPv4 in a number of forms. This paper focuses on issues associated with this coexistence, transition mechanisms that will be used, and what the gaming community can do today to be better positioned as IPv6 becomes the mainstream Internet protocol.

Details

The Electronic Library, vol. 22 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0264-0473

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Article
Publication date: 29 June 2010

Peter Dell

IPv6 is the replacement for the internet's incumbent protocol, IPv4. IPv6 adoption is required to allow the internet to continue to grow; however, there has been almost no

Abstract

Purpose

IPv6 is the replacement for the internet's incumbent protocol, IPv4. IPv6 adoption is required to allow the internet to continue to grow; however, there has been almost no uptake since its standardization in the late 1990s. This paper seeks to explain how this non‐adoption may be a consequence of current policies paradoxically intended to promote IPv6.

Design/methodology/approach

Economic theories of exhaustible resources and permit markets are used to provide an explanation for the lack of adoption of IPv6.

Findings

The current policy approach will not yield a significant adoption of IPv6 until after the IPv4 address space is exhausted and may also constrain internet growth after IPv4 exhaustion occurs.

Practical implications

Current policies intended to promote IPv6 diffusion through the internet must be reconsidered. The economics of permit markets in particular can inform discussions about IPv4 address transfer markets.

Originality/value

Economic analyses of IPv6 adoption are almost non‐existent and very few prior studies are known. This paper helps to rectify this important gap in the literature.

Details

info, vol. 12 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-6697

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Article
Publication date: 23 September 2013

Milton Mueller, Brenden Kuerbis and Hadi Asghari

This article aims to quantify the emerging transfer market for internet protocol (IPv4) numbers and provides an initial assessment of factors and policies impacting those

Abstract

Purpose

This article aims to quantify the emerging transfer market for internet protocol (IPv4) numbers and provides an initial assessment of factors and policies impacting those transactions.

Design/methodology/approach

The research draws on Regional Internet Registry records and conducts basic analysis of stocks, flows and proportions to assess the nature of this emerging market for IP number blocks and explore some of its implications for internet governance.

Findings

There is a thriving and growing market for IPv4 number blocks. The market is improving the efficiency of IPv4 address allocation by moving numbers from unused or under-utilized holders to organizations that need them more. Buyers willingly pay for number blocks they could get for free in order to benefit from more liberal needs assessments and stronger property rights.

Research limitations/implications

Information about prices is not available and some transfers may take place through leasing arrangements, which are not covered by this paper. Future research should continue to investigate the transfer market, including activity skirting or occurring outside the current RIR policy environment.

Practical implications

RIRs should liberalize needs assessments and remove other sources of friction to the transfer market.

Originality/value

No known prior assessment of the transfer market has been conducted. The research has value for policymakers and industry decision makers.

Details

info, vol. 15 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-6697

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Article
Publication date: 1 May 2003

C. Bouras, A. Karaliotas and P. Ganos

It is stated that the new version of the IP protocol, IPv6, is the answer to the majority of the problems that were raised during the enormous expansion of the Internet…

Abstract

It is stated that the new version of the IP protocol, IPv6, is the answer to the majority of the problems that were raised during the enormous expansion of the Internet and its transformation to a global communication platform with commercial scope. At the same time it is also stated that IPv6 dominance will not be easy and there will be a period when the two versions of the protocol will co‐exist. In this paper we describe some of the main transition mechanisms that can be deployed in order to facilitate the transition process to the new version of the IP protocol. Furthermore, the presented mechanisms are discussed regarding their usability, usefulness and manageability. Describes the way some of these mechanisms were applied to the Greek Research & Technology Network (GRNET).

Details

Internet Research, vol. 13 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1066-2243

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Article
Publication date: 23 October 2007

Mónica Domingues, Carlos Friaças and Pedro Veiga

The main aim of this paper is to focus on a big step for IPv6: deployment. At the same time, it aims to issue a warning about something that should be in a more evolved stage.

Abstract

Purpose

The main aim of this paper is to focus on a big step for IPv6: deployment. At the same time, it aims to issue a warning about something that should be in a more evolved stage.

Design/methodology/approach

A multiple‐angle analysis about IPv6 deployment was used: breaking some myths, looking at deployment data and trying to relate to IPv4's deployment.

Findings

The paper finds that IPv6 deployment is not yet on track. Comparison between IPv6 and IPv4 network performance is negative.

Research limitations/implications

Numbers and policy analysis described in this paper will naturally evolve and thus will need to be revisited in future work. This theme will be progressively more important as IPv4 address space becomes exhausted.

Practical implications

More IPv6 deployment is needed, in order to ensure Internet's continued growth. In order to become a viable solution for the global Internet, IPv6 deployment must be seen as a priority for network administrators today.

Originality/value

This paper's content may alert some players to the needed effort associated with the Internet's evolution. Other audiences will benefit from the data and details discussed, in order to gain confidence about deploying IPv6.

Details

Internet Research, vol. 17 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1066-2243

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Article
Publication date: 7 November 2008

Carlos Friaças, Emanuel Massano, Mónica Domingues and Pedro Veiga

The purpose of this article is to provide several viewpoints about monitoring aspects related to recent deployments of a new technology (IPv6).

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this article is to provide several viewpoints about monitoring aspects related to recent deployments of a new technology (IPv6).

Design/methodology/approach

Several views and domains were used, with a common point: the Portuguese research and education network (RCTS).

Findings

A significant amount of work is yet to be done, in order to mature the deployment of this new internet technology.

Research limitations/implications

The equipment whence the data were collected still has some limitations regarding the new technology. Future datasets may benefit from wider deployments.

Practical implications

The work also demonstrates that IPv6 deployment is in its early stages, which is negative, given the projected dates for IPv4 exhaustion.

Originality/value

The findings and the work described will be useful for people trying to deploy IPv6 networks in the short or medium timeframe.

Details

Campus-Wide Information Systems, vol. 25 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1065-0741

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Article
Publication date: 4 September 2007

Karri Huhtanen, Bilhanan Silverajan and Jarmo Harju

The number of home networks, as well as the number of services and hosts in them, is increasing. Often home users cannot get public IPv4 network allocations from service…

Abstract

Purpose

The number of home networks, as well as the number of services and hosts in them, is increasing. Often home users cannot get public IPv4 network allocations from service providers and are forced to use network address translation (NAT) and port forwarding to solve connectivity issues to the different home services. This paper seeks to introduce a secure connectivity solution utilising both IPv6 and IPv6 transition mechanisms in cooperation with existing virtual private network (VPN) solutions.

Design/methodology/approach

The proposed solution to avoid route conflicts and other problems with private IPv4 address space collisions is to utilise 6to4, an IPv6 transition mechanism, to obtain routable IPv6 network addresses first for the home network and services and then, to utilise the same IPv6 network for connectivity by bridging it over a VPN connection to the mobile terminal.

Findings

The paper finds that the adoption of this solution and these technologies will depend on how useful they are seen by vendors or service providers and included in their products. Regular vendors and service providers probably want to wait until there is a greater customer need. On the other hand, customers do not know about the possibilities before they are shown to them in practice. The best approach to this challenge is to find a cooperating vendor, or even better, a service provider willing to develop the concept further and to integrate it into the devices and services they are already offering.

Originality/value

The technologies for enhancing home service connectivity are already available. In the proof‐of‐concept implementation the paper has shown that all these components can be integrated and utilised to build home routers for present and future home networks. The technical disadvantages and challenges are solvable with further work and the whole concept is ready to be turned into products and services. As indicated in the paper, one of the issues for further work is to find and convince a vendor or service provider to integrate the proposed solution in their home router.

Details

Campus-Wide Information Systems, vol. 24 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1065-0741

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Article
Publication date: 9 May 2008

Peter Dell, Christopher Kwong and Ying Liu

The purpose of this paper is to put forward a case for increased research into the likely economic impact in Australia of early or late diffusion of IPv6, and to argue

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to put forward a case for increased research into the likely economic impact in Australia of early or late diffusion of IPv6, and to argue that Government intervention may be necessary.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper characterises the approach to IPv6 in Australia to date as generally laissez‐faire, and compares this with diffusion and promotion efforts in countries in which IPv6 has become more widely adopted.

Findings

The paper finds that IPv6 diffusion is inevitable in the long term, but early diffusion is unlikely in the absence of government action. The likely economic impact on Australia of early versus late IPv6 diffusion is unknown, yet it is potentially of national interest.

Originality/value

This study identifies the need for research into the economic impact of IPv6 diffusion in Australia and is relevant to individuals and organisations involved in telecommunications and policy and research funding.

Details

info, vol. 10 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-6697

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Article
Publication date: 1 September 2006

Milton L. Mueller

The purpose of this article is to broaden our understanding of internet governance policy options by reviewing and assessing proposals for reforming the institutional

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this article is to broaden our understanding of internet governance policy options by reviewing and assessing proposals for reforming the institutional mechanisms used to allocate and assign IPv6 addresses.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper begins by identifying the two main economic and technical constraints on IP addressing: route aggregation and address conservation. It then reviews the reform proposals that have been made and assesses the debates that have occurred around those proposals, bearing in mind the key issues of aggregation and conservation. In particular, it attempts to explore whether competition in IP addressing between authorities with diverse policies would be feasible and beneficial.

Findings

The debate over addressing policy is in its early stages and has a long way to go. A review of the debate so far suggests that the introduction of economic incentives in addressing might improve route aggregation rather than worsen it. With respect to conservation and aggregation incentives, policy diversity might help internet service providers find a more optimal trade‐off between the needs of users and the needs of the suppliers of connectivity.

Originality/value

The policy alternatives discussed here could have a major impact on the future of the internet, as address allocation and assignment directly affect the way the internet functions and the distribution of costs and benefits between users and suppliers.

Details

info, vol. 8 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-6697

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