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IPv6 RIPEness: More Smaller and Younger Organizations Deploying IPv6

The number of RIPE NCC members [also referred to as Local Internet Registries (LIRs)] that have an IPv6 allocation continues to grow—in absolute terms as well as in percentages. 46% of all RIPE NCC members have one or more IPv6 RIPEness stars. We were interested to find out how IPv6 RIPEness is distributed across the membership. Do new members pick up IPv6? Are older members with more experience, well-established businesses and customer base dominating IPv6 RIPEness scores? And what about the size of a member? Are small and large members adopting IPv6 in equal proportions? In this article we look into answering these questions.

IPv6 RIPEness compared to the LIR’s age

In the image below, you can see that IPv6 RIPEness is fairly evenly distributed over the years. Slightly more than 40% of the LIRs that joined the RIPE NCC between 2006 and 2010 have one or more stars. For 2011, the fraction of LIRs with three and four stars is notably lower. Still, it is encouraging to see that 33% have an IPv6 allocation already.

Although IPv6 distribution fluctuates between 1996 and 2005, the overall trend seems to be that the older the RIPE NCC member is, the higher they score on the IPv6 RIPEness scale. Note that these years also include the early adopters: RIPE NCC members that obtained IPv6 space several years ago (see more information about this in an earlier CircleID contribution: A Look at IPv6 Allocations Since 1999)

Most notably, the oldest members (established in 1995) have been, and still are, leading the pack. 80% of these members have IPv6 space and 53% score all four stars of RIPEness. The members established in 1996, 1997 and 1998 are of comparable size, but still the members from 1995 are most “IPv6 RIPE”. The reason is likely that this group is composed of Internet pioneers: those ISPs and academic networks operators that helped the Internet take off in Europe. These RIPE NCC members have recognised the need to deploy IPv6.

IPv6 RIPEness compared to the LIR’s size

In Figure 2 below, we look at the distribution of IPv6 RIPEness related to the size of the member/LIR as determined by the billing category of the LIR (starting with XL on the left and ending with XS on the right of the graph). This quite clearly shows that large and extra-large LIRs have a higher rate of IPv6 RIPEness. One reason for this is that due to the smaller size of the category, it takes less adopters to reach a high score. At the same time we can expect larger LIRs to be more aware of the need to deploy IPv6 for long-term business growth. And since rollout of IPv6 in large networks will take more time, the larger LIRs may have requested IPv6 space early.

Please keep in mind that there is also a correlation between age and size: New members tend to start as small or extra-small members and grow over time into bigger categories. That means larger LIRs are typically also members for a longer time. And pretty much all organizations that became a RIPE NCC member in 2011 are in the extra-small category.


From this recent analysis of IPv6 RIPEness in comparison with the age and the size of LIRs, we can conclude that the older and bigger LIRs tend to score higher in IPv6 RIPEness. This might not be surprising: older LIRs had more time to prepare for the adoption of IPv6. However, we also see new LIRs are picking up IPv6 relatively quickly. Only those LIRs that joined in the last quarter score lower and it is to be expected that they will increase their IPv6 RIPEness score soon.

For more information and more graphs pleas refer to the background article on RIPE Labs: IPv6 RIPEness—Sorted by LIR’s Age and Size

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