Shy Providers and IPv6

About six years ago I did an IPv6 survey for the IPv6 for e-Business Project. Part of that was a list of the IPv6 prefixes allocated at the time to Australian companies – there were 19 prefixes, with only 6 of those visible in the global routing tables. Recently (22 Aug 2012) I had another look at the APNIC IPv6 prefixes for Australia, on the excellent SixXS Ghost Route Hunter pages. Here’s some stats.

There are now 512 IPv6 prefixes allocated to Australian organisations, mainly /32s (for providers) and /48s (for provider-independent routing). But don’t break out the champagne just yet. Of these 512 prefixes:

  16 – have been returned to APNIC.
  24 – are defunct. Announced at some stage, but then disappeared.
325 – have never been implemented – nearly early two-thirds of the total. Some are probably works in progress.
147 – are visible globally.

Yes, a whole 147 entities in Australia are telling the world they have valid IPv6 routing paths!
No, put down the champagne. Looking at the websites of the 147 companies:

  6 – have no site or are under construction.
10 – are APNIC own-allocations or Internet data exchanges.
32 – are government, academic or various businesses.
97 – are Internet-related businesses: networks, hosting, data centres, IT consulting etc.

Of those 97 Internet-related businesses, 49 provide Internet access services: networks, wireless, broadband, VoIP, mobile, etc. Some have more than one allocation, so the unique number of ISPs with working IPv6 prefixes is 45.
Wow, there’s 45 Australian companies providing IPv6!

Sadly, no. Of the 45, only 10 have even dual-stacked their own websites (making them visible over both IPv4 and IPv6), 3 more have incomplete implementations, and 32 are still running IPv4-only websites. That’s right, 32 Australian ISPs are announcing their IPv6 routing to the world, but haven’t got around to dual-stacking their websites – including Telstra and Optus.

So who are the 10 clued-up providers with IPv6-capable websites: do they offer IPv6 network access and consumer access (DSL, provider tunnels), and do they tell consumers about IPv6?

Provider IPv6 Website Network IPv6 Consumer IPv6 IPv6 Mentioned
Internode Yes Yes Network pages
PPS/IPv6Now Yes Yes All pages
AARNet Yes Yes Single page
iiNet Yes Mention re modems
Vocus Yes Brief mention
PIPE Yes (No site search)
TPG Mention re modems
Primus Brief mention
Skymesh (No site search)
Firenet (No site search)

Some of the above are now subsidiaries of others, but this table relates to their original allocations and current websites. Apart from IPv6Now (declaration of interest), not one of these ISPs even mentions the term IPv6 on the front page of their website.

Tell me again how “lack of IPv6 is the customers’ fault because they’re not asking for it”.  Just why would anyone ask for something their ISP doesn’t bother to promote?

There are 45 ISPs in this country currently able to route IPv6. Why are they so shy about it?

(Image from Interact Lab)


Shy Providers and IPv6 — 5 Comments

  1. iiNet have been running a public trial since 6th June via 6RD tunnel – unfortunately not all modems support this but iiNet’s do as do Cisco and routers running Tomato firmware.

    Been working perfectly since brought on line.

  2. Hi Robin,

    That’s excellent news. I have nothing but respect for iiNet, but I’ve searched the iiNet website for ‘ipv6’ and can only find a 2010 document about copyright and three mentions of BoB, none of which are much help.

    My question with this post was basically, who sells IPv6 in Australia and why is it so hard for customers to find out about it. So where on the iiNet website is the customer-facing information to say you’re offering trials, how to get involved, and what routers will work and what won’t?

    I know at a technical level getting all this going is incredibly hard, but someone, somewhere, has to tell the customers why it’s a good thing and why the effort is happening.

    But thanks to you/iiNet for putting that effort in – and I hope the trial goes from strength to strength. Please tell me when there’s some public info up about it and I’ll amend the table.

    Regards, Kate

  3. For the record, PIPE have been providing IPv6 on transit & IX services by default for at least the last two years. Almost nobody uses it but it’s there.

    • Hi Cameron – we (IPv6Now/PPS/Sempernet) use PIPE for IPv6 peering, so that’s how I knew to put a Yes in the Network IPv6 column for them, otherwise I couldn’t have found out publicly – the PIPE website doesn’t have a search form, and IPv6 isn’t mentioned in the menu or site map.

      Part of the education process is simply to say to the world, up front, ‘we went through the process of providing this because it’s important’. Most people aren’t interested in the details, but simply to see that a respected service provider thinks it’s worthwhile is useful for all of us.

      Regards, Kate

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