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Measuring Worldwide Growth in IPv6 Deployments

7 March 2012

This is a guest post by Mirjam Kühne, Labs Community Builder at the RIPE NCC. RIPE Labs is a platform designed by the RIPE NCC for network operators, industry experts and the RIPE NCC to expose, test and discuss innovative Internet-related tools, ideas and analysis.

In early 2011, the RIPE NCC shared some graphs that showed the percentage of IPv6-enabled networks over time. More precisely, it showed the percentage of Autonomous Systems (ASes)1 that announced one or more IPv6 prefixes in the global routing table. The results for the five Regional Internet Registries (RIRs) were described in the article Networks with IPv6 Over Time on RIPE Labs.

When that article was posted, the percentage of ASes announcing one or more IPv6 prefixes in the five RIR service regions were approximately:

APNIC 10%;

RIPE NCC 8.5%;

LACNIC 8.5%;

AfriNIC 6%; and

ARIN 5%.

The progress has been updated since then, and in the image below you can see the current status in all regions. You can find this interactive graph at http://v6asns.ripe.net and use the tool to plot graphs based on the regions or countries you are interested in.

The percentage of IPv6-enabled networks has increased in all regions. And what is striking is that, although their start and end positions are different, the growth curves for all five regions is remarkably similar. Now, the percentage of ASes announcing one or more IPv6 prefixes in the RIR regions are approximately:

APNIC 17%;



AfriNIC 12%; and

ARIN 10%.

It is interesting to note that all regions showed exponential growth up to mid-2011. This could have multiple causes: ICANN’s IANA Department allocated the last IPv4 address space to the RIRs in February 2011. The World IPv6 Day took place in June 2011, which motivated many organisations to push their IPv6 deployment dates forward. The flattening of the graphs for most regions after that date could also be related to the economic situation in many countries. These possible reasons for the growth similarities all reflect events that impacted globally as opposed to in one RIR region.

We also looked at the countries with the highest IPv6 penetration worldwide and found that many aspects can lead to high IPv6 penetration in a given country. Training is certainly useful, but a strong operational community together with an active government or regulator that encourages IPv6 deployment also seems to have positive effects. In some countries, peer pressure and competition among ISPs also seems to be a factor that helps with IPv6 deployment.

For more information and other graphs, please refer to the background article on RIPE Labs: Networks with IPv6 – One Year Later.

More information about IPv6 can be found on IPv6ActNow.

Guest post by Mirjam Kühne, Labs Community Builder at the RIPE NCC


1 An autonomous system (AS) refers to either a single network or a group of networks that is controlled by a common network administrator on behalf of a single administrative entity (typically an Internet Service Provider (ISP).