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IPv6… Canada About to Score?

USA-Canada World Championship hockey games never fail to elicit great excitement. In the IPv6 adoption world league however, the US seems to have a convincing lead over their northern neighbour but the game is not over yet, here come the Canucks.

Internet evolution, and IPv6 in particular, were the major themes at the ISACC (ICT Standards Advisory Council of Canada) Plenary meeting in Ottawa mid April. Presentation of the Government of Canada IPv6 transition Strategy, including timelines, was undoubtedly the highlight of the day. Leveraging the Australian Government IPv6 transition model, the Canadian Federal Government envisages three phases in the transition; preparation (jan 2009- dec 2010), transition (jan 2011-dec 2013) and implementation (January 2014-dec 2015).

Surprising? Not really. In its quiet ways , Canada has pioneered IPv6 since its early days. Canarie, Canada’s national Research and Education Network, co-funded the Chicago 6TAP while the Canadian freenet6 tunneling service has provided more than 150,000 IPv6 over IPv4 tunnels and was, for a while, the world’s premier IPv6 transit point. The first intercontinental native IPv6 connectivity was tried out between the CRC in Ottawa and Berkom in Berlin, Germany, back in 1998. Teleglobe, now part of Tata Communications, became founding member of the IPv6 Forum in 1999 and has been offering commercial IPv6 connectivity since 2004.

The Government’s IPv6 mettle will likely be tested in the upcoming GENS Government Enterprise Network Services calls for tender. The goal is ambitious with the consolidation and convergence of the Government’s current 124 separate networks. Some laggards on the network and equipment supply side will likely lobby to say that IPv6 is not that urgent and that they will support it in the future anyways while some consultants will see, in many years of transition, many years of contracts.

Some of us, in the discussion period at the Ottawa ISSAC plenary, emphasized the need for some early measurable deliverables such as IPv6 accessibility of selected public Government websites. Interesting to note that ARIN’s most recent letter [PDF], to ISP CEO’s, also considers publicly accessible resources such as external web servers and e-mail servers a logical place to start.

The IPv6 puck rebounds, is passed from behind the internet, he shoots, he ....

By Yves Poppe, Director, Business Development IP Strategy at Tata Communications

(Any opinions, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in these articles are solely those of the author and are not in any way attributable to nor reflect any existing or planned official policy or position of his employer in respect thereto.)

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Well actually according to a recent report Andree  –  May 2, 2009 12:36 AM

Well actually according to a recent report 4.4% of the Canadian networks is routing an IPv6 prefix, as compared to the US where only 2.4% of the networks is routing an IPv6 prefix. So if we look at the relative statistics Canada beats the US. And is it’s a tie compared to the global IPv6 deployment rate.

However if we look at the availability of Transit providers, it’s very hard, or it seems impossible to buy commercial (not Canarie) IPv6 transit in Canada (at least in the west). The result is that most Canadian networks tunnel their traffic back to the USA. So I guess here the USA scores better ;) And Canada has some catching up to do.
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