Transition from IPv4 to IPv6

5 December 2008 - A Main Session on Critical Internet Resources in Hyderabad, India


Chair: Dr. Gulshan Rai

Bernadette Lewis, Secretary General, Caribbean Telecommunication Union (CTU), Trinidad and Tobago 


  • Adiel Akplogan, AFRINIC/NRO, Mauritius

  • Kurtis Lindqvist, Netnod

  • Milton Mueller, Internet Governance Project, USA

  • Satoru Yanagishima Director of Internet Policy, Ministry of Communications , Government of Japan

  • Jonne Soininen, Nokia, Finland

  • Tulika Pandey, Government of India

Panel Description: 

Internet Protocol (IP) addresses are the numbers that uniquely identify and enable the connection of all the devices to the Internet. These devices can be an originating point, an intermediate point, or the destination point. IP addresses are used by a process called routing to determine how to move parcels of data called packets from an originating point through any intermediate point to a destination point. Two IP address versions have co-existed since 1999. The predominant version of IP in use today is version 4 (IPv4). However, it is estimated by various experts that the central pool of the predominant version, IPv4, will reach its depletion point within the next three to four years.

Although it is clear that version 6 (IPv6) is the most likely alternative to the depletion of the IPv4 central pool, it is important to look at what will happen during this gray (transition) period from when the central pool depletes to when IPv6 becomes the predominant protocol of the Internet Infrastructure.

There is a need for a proper coordination in this regard among all stakeholders in the community, be they public, private, or civil society sectors, during the gray period. This coordination includes

  • Ensuring the stability of the Internet by smoothing the shift from the Internet infrastructure where IPv4 is predominant to one where IPv6 is predominant;

  • Providing mechanisms which will ensure ongoing orderly management and use of IPv4 address space, both during the gray period and for as long as IPv4 is still in use and

  • Providing mechanisms and incentives for the rapid adoption of IPv6 by exploring various approaches to Operational, Business and Policy related questions.

This workshop will explore these issues, providing a balanced and diverse array of opinions from technical experts, public interest advocates, industries and governments. The goal of the workshop is to heighten awareness about the IPv4 to IPv6 transitions issues and to promote better understanding of the challenges that may be facing the Internet growth in the coming years.

The workshop is framed to cover the following points:

    1. Introduction and problem statement (setting the scene):

        1. How IP addresses are distributed
        2. What is the real nature of the problem (IPv4 scarcity; IPv6 opportunity).
    2. Solutions for the problem and challenges facing its deployment


      1. Operational
        1. State of IPv6 deployment
        2. Operational Challenges facing IPv6 deployment/adoption.
      2. Social & Economics:
        1. Will a market driven approach to the challenges provide a global solution? What are the market forces, who are likely to benefit from it?
        2. How does socio-economic diversity can affect the various approaches to the transition
      3. Policy and incentives
        1. What policies have been proposed by governments, and other stakeholders through the RIRs policy development process to respond to the problems?
        2. Impact and limitation of theses policies?


  1. Way forward
    1. Improving cooperation among stakeholders for a smoother transition and more efficient and balance approach to minimize the gray period factor.


Name of Organizers

  • Number Resource Organisation (NRO) – Technical Community/Private Sector
  • Internet Governance Project (IGP) – Civil Society
  • Institute for InfoSocionomics, Tama University – Civil Society
  • International Telecommunication Union (ITU) – Government/Technical Community
  • Government of Japan (Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications) – Governments
  • Internet Society (ISOC) – Civil Society/Technical Community
  • Google – Private Sector
  • Japan Network Information Center (JPNIC) - Private Sector/Technical Community
  • Internet Association Japan (IA Japan) - Private Sector
  • Japan Internet Service Providers Association (JAIPA) - Private Sector
  • Nokia Siemens Networks - private sector/technical community

As shown above, the organizer is composed of multi-stakeholder entities from the public, private, and civil society sectors, with geographic coverage of Africa, the Americas, Asia Pacific, and Europe.