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More Than Half Top-Level Domains Not Really on Top of IPv6

At the recent ISOC Asia conference in Kuala Lumpur a rather innocuous coffee break question was raised: could any one around the table name some of the major Top-Level Domains (TLDs) still delinquent in their IPv6 support? Nobody could answer on the spot but the question intrigued me.

A logical place to start looking for an answer was ICANN. Their Kim Davies provided a rather revealing perspective in a presentation at ICANN 34 in april. 41% of the 280 existing TLDs did not provide any IPv6 connectivity and more than 68% did without any diversity. Even for IPv4 it was surprising to see that 7.2% of TLDs do not provide diversity, contrary to IANA rules. Two name servers separated by geography and topology are required and the same applies for IPv6 (gTLD applicant guidebook).

IANA provides a list of all legitimate TLDs. including the recent fancy additions like .museum and the like.
Hurricane’s Mike Leber’s IPv6 deployment progress report, which is updated daily, provided another piece of the puzzle. When correlated to the IANA list, bingo, the culprits became visible, many obscure but a number of them rather out of place in this set. To refine the model, the title of Top Level Delinquent could be bestowed on the TLD with the largest number of domain names allocated under its ‘top’.

As ICANN and IANA can only do so much to enforce rules and regulations, an independent, up to date shame list, pillory of the cyber age, might help delinquents recognize themselves and also expose potential weak points in the internet. To give recognition to top performers on the other hand, why not create a TTLD honour roll for TLDs who have 3 or more IPv6 authorities?

Oh yes, 9.6% of TLDs still had open recursive name servers. Safe bet that some failed the grade in both the IPv6 and open recursivity categories oblivious of another Kaminsky type attack.

Progress is being made but to accelerate on the road of IP convergence and instill more confidence in the ‘public internet’, some additional discipline in the Domain Name area, starting with the top and working its way down, would certainly not hurt.

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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