[Bp_ipv6] Should we touch on hardware concerns?

Marco Hogewoning marcoh at ripe.net
Mon Sep 7 08:01:43 EDT 2015


The background document paragraph 54 briefly touches upon the availability of IPv6 support in hardware and we are contemplating on if and how to include any advise in the output document addressing these concerns.

I personally think that we can safely argue that there still is a steady stream of non-IPv6-capable devices being connected to the Internet, both in the wholesale chains (provider supplied or recommended CPE), as well as in the retail markets with for example small switches and wifi routers. With end user awareness being very low these devices form an obstacle to widespread use of IPv6, even in networks that are fully IPv6 capable.

In my observations to some extend this is caused by the drive to lower the production cost and to optimise the ROI on design efforts. It might be very small, but the ability to support dual stack operation is an additional cost. The counter argument is that it shortens the expected lifespan of the equipment and reduces the users ability to access the Internet to its full potential.

Having this discussion in another forum, we submitted the following comment:

"In relation to the issue of affordability, we would like to highlight concerns regarding the use of equipment that does not support the latest technology (including standards such as IPv6 or additional encryption) or does not have the capacity to allow for essential security updates. We would urge users to consider the full expected lifecycle of equipment when making investment decisions.”

We can probably adjust this and add similar text to the output document, but would like to get some feedback wether you think this is useful and where to best insert it.

Or would people opt for a more substantial comment that also takes into account the risk of “dumping” of outdated equipment in secondary markets or directly addresses the rather fine balance between affordability and capability on this topic.


Marco Hogewoning
External Relations - RIPE NCC

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