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IPv6, Stimulus, Digital Recovery and Job Creation

When our G20 leaders met in Pittsburgh last week, stimulus and recovery were foremost on their minds. Needless to dwell on the ravages of sub-prime lending and outsized bonuses rewarding dismal performance. It is good to see that, in today’s global economy, Information Technology is recognized as a major driver of economic growth and quality of life. A recent OECD report puts 2008 telecommunications revenues of the thirty members at 1.2 trillion dollar or 3% of GDP. Looking at the G20 countries, they allocated 2 trillion US dollars in general stimulus including over 100 billion in IT according to the September ITIF newsletter [PDF]. Ranking at the top of IT spending as percentage of their stimulus plan are Korea with 24%, France with 17% and Japan with 12%. As % of GDP we find Japan, Korea and the USA making the largest IT related stimulus investments. In absolute dollar terms this translates into the USA as number one with 41 billion dollar, Japan with 32 billion and France with 5.5 billion allocated to IT stimulus.

Canada’s 36 billion stimulus package (2.9% of GDP) includes 3 billion for IT. Herein we find 790 million dollar for smart grid technology and 500 million for a ‘health infoway’. In the meantime our cousins to the South allocated 11 billion for smart grids out of their 41 billion IT package. Not to be outdone, the European Union will spend 5 billion dollars on smart grids.

Networks requiring vast amounts of sensors such as intelligent buildings and smart grids have long been considered ideal environments for Greenfield IPv6 deployment. The timing of the Cisco announcement linking IPv6 and smart grids is certainly no coincidence. There is a money trail to be followed and IPv6 will ride the smart grid coattails.

An Industry Roundtable at APEC-Tel 40 last week, in which I had the pleasure to participate, saw Verizon and AT&T address the topic of smart grids from a telecom provider perspective. An IPv6 workshop was also part of the program

Just provide an abundance of routable IP addresses and things big and small will communicate. To let the internet run out of IP addresses is just not an option, the stakes are too high. The IT activity sector is expected to spawn a sizeable employment multiplier and new wealth generation effect, further compounded by important broadband access stimulus initiatives. We can expect to see IPv6 play a modest, largely unsung, but essential role in the big scheme of things.

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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