Switzerland to lead in IPv6 adoption

To say that IPv6 is a new Internet protocol is a bit distorting historical facts. Work on IPv6 started back in the old millenium (1995 to be precise) and has since reached status of an Internet standard. Nevertheless, IPV6 adoption has been slow over the years despite the impending exhaustion of IPv4 address space.

However, IPv6 is picking up steam recently. Google’s IPv6 adoption statistics (see http://www.google.com/ipv6/statistics.html#tab=per-country-ipv6-adoption) shows the percentage of IPv6 availability of different countries.

Switzerland is in the lead with over 10% of Internet users having native IPv6 connectivity (no tunneling). Apart from Romania which is a close follower with slightly more than 9% IPv6 connectivity as of the writing of this article, only a few countries have appreciable IPv6 adoption. The high percentage of IPv6 adoption in Switzerland is owed to the fact that Swisscom (the largest ISP in Switzerland) blazed a trail by introducing native IPv6 for its large DSL customer base. This ups the ante for other Internet providers like cable operators. The largest cable provider in Switzerland (UPC Cablecom) is apparently busy with installing the required networking gear to provide native IPv6, but no firm release date has been given thus far.

IPv6 adoption is a classical chicken and egg problem. If ISPs don’t provide it, users will not use it. If users don’t use it, ISPs have no incentive to provide it. So it’s up to the providers to do the first step and provide native (and reliable) IPv6 connectivity. On the user side, applications like Internet of Thinks (IoT) will fuel usage, provided that native and reliable IPv6 service is available.

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