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IPv6 is Not a One-Way Street

Published on 3 Sep 2013

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A lot of the focus on IPv6 has been on service providers, who feel pressure from all sides to enable IPv6 support and speed up adoption. Dual-stack transition methods only serve to reinforce the dominance of IPv4, and I don’t think anyone would want to risk an IPv6-only network to force adoption.

However, service providers shouldn’t bear the entire burden. It’s estimated that only 11% of the Alexa top 1000 websites are IPv6-ready. Web browsing is still a primary reason for subscribing to a data service. With so many IPv4-only sites, it’s no wonder that adoption is lacking. Popular hosted blogging platforms like Tumblr and WordPress are yet to implement support, and Flickr, a photo and video hosting service, also shows no signs of IPv6 support.

I shouldn’t be cherry-picking here, as there’s more than 600 million websites out there. While larger websites require dedicated teams to run, most websites still only require a web hosting service. cPanel is a web hosting control panel used by web hosting providers as a means for customers to quickly manage configuration settings through a user interface. It is arguably the most common solution in the market. IPv6 support has not arrived yet, but the cPanel team is hard at work to deliver support soon.

Which brings us to web hosting providers. They need to make sure that their servers and networks are IPv6-ready once cPanel delivers. Customers are beginning to ask for IPv6 support, and this should be treated as a high priority feature request, because it’s only a matter of time before they demand it.

IPv6 adoption isn’t something where one party should be the early adopter and let the dominoes fall. We, as a community on the Internet, should all do our part to request and implement support at every stage of the network – from websites and services to network infrastructure and devices. We all have to meet somewhere in the middle — only then will IPv6 truly take off.