My 2012 Wish List

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The first month of 2012 is ending as I write. Do you remember what you resolved a month ago? With experts telling us that New Year’s resolutions have an 80 percent failure rate, I’m guessing many of you have quietly dropped your plans by now, if you made any.

What I drew up at the end of 2011 was not so much a list of resolutions as a short wish list. Here are the three things I would still, really like to see happen this year, in no specific order:

  • Hardware manufacturers getting serious about IPv6. The move to IPv6 requires manufacturers to invest some time on new firmware. Too many device and CMTS manufacturers delayed any sort of real IPv6 readiness for operators with poor IPv6 software in 2011. It’s now time to catch up.
  • Understanding that IPv6 requires more planning. When we visit operators, we find too often that they have paid great care to the hardware side of their IPv6 plans, but they have neglected to plan and manage the address space itself. IPv6 is such a different beast that those who deploy with success will be the ones using an IPv6 management platform. The spreadsheets that were the norm in IPv4 just won’t cut it.
  • More user-driven services. The Internet has pushed all of us to provide more choices for subscribers. They want things à la carte, bundled, made to fit, and designed by them and for them. Service providers who deploy systems that can respond to these demands will be the winners. Service providers who fail to modernize their infrastructure and offerings will lose subscribers to providers who will.

This list isn’t extensive, but represents some of the stumbling blocks I see in moving to both IPv6 and more of a user-driven product cycle. Given what I saw in Las Vegas at CES 2012 earlier this month (see my previous post), I’m all the more concerned about how big a stumbling block IPv6 remains. But I’m an optimist, and will keep looking for signs of progress.

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