To escape the crisis, Internet providers will need decisive action and incur billions in costs. The IPv6 protocol is a possible solution for this crisis. It would seem that there is nothing easier - turn it on and go. But in practice, this transition requires not only an adjustment, but also the replacement of expensive equipment. Switching to a new protocol introduces problems that require replacing the equipment (routers) for all clients and replacing all access equipment and some of the oldest aggregation devices. But nobody wants to replace the equipment because the volume of investments will be very large in this case.
For an IPv6 project to work, operators either need a push or a large investment. This is a serious amount of money, and no one will dare lay it out voluntarily, unless a forced shutdown of the IPv4 protocol occurs. No one in their right mind will forcibly stimulate the transition from IPv4 to IPv6. All current content on the Internet is available primarily via IPv4. It must be understood that IPv6 is not a replacement for IPv4. IPv6 gives us an opportunity to continue developing at the same pace in an environment where the number of IPv4 addresses is decreasing dramatically. Providers are gradually starting to use IPv6, but this does not mean that operators provide clients with access only via IPv6. Both protocols work. If your router supports the new protocol and the operator also supports IPv6, then the traffic will follow the new protocol. If not, traffic is routed via IPv4.
In order to prepare an infrastructure for IPv6, providers must register the corresponding addresses with the routers. However, it is unclear what to do with client equipment and switches. There is also a question as to whether subscribers need IPv6. There is no point in IPv6 today, at least for now.
There is no normal support for the new protocol in a lot of the client equipment or in the server. Customers are not ready to pay for IPv6 as a service, and the transfer of old equipment will cost an astronomical amount. So, providers continue to use NAT
, and there is no doubt that they will continue doing so in coming years. Despite all of the technical difficulties, the transition to a new version of the protocol is inevitable. There is a gradual adoption of the new protocol. However, the question of when the global transition to IPv6 will occur remains open.
According to the Internet Society State of IPv6 Deployment 2018 report, many broadband ISPs deploy IPv6 in spite of its problems. For example, Comcast IPv6 deployment is at approximately 66%. British Sky Broadcasting IPv6 deployment is above 86%, Deutsche Telekom has 56%, XS4ALL has 71%, VOO has 73% and Telenet has 63%.
In terms of mobile wireless, Reliance Jio and Verizon Wireless report that about 90% of its traffic uses IPv6. The percent of smartphones in the US on the major cellular network operators (AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon) that use IPv6 has increased from 40% to 80% within the past three years. Furthermore, T-Mobile is going to turn IPv4 off and use only IPv6 within their mobile network. Other major wireless providers are intending to do the same thing as T-Mobile.
In conclusion, we can say that after the transition to IPv6, supporters of IPv4 will not go away, but with time IPv6 will become the main protocol, transforming the entire Internet. Just as has been done with IPv4, software and hardware will be created to support and improve it. The biggest remaining hurdle is for everyone to get together and update hardware and software that is incompatible with IPv6. But this will require huge investments. Therefore, for many years, commercial organizations of all levels have had an overwhelming desire to postpone it, which is what everyone has done.