IPv4 and its original killer application, the Internet, opened the door to a whole new world of communications, social interaction, and ways of conducting business. We have only begun to scratch the surface of possibilities. The value and importance of IP is recognized at both macro- and microeconomic levels; it is recognized by both individuals and governments. Today's IP infrastructures are critical, strategic assets.

29. Michael Gallaher and Brent Rowe, RTI International, "IPv6 Economic Impact Assessment" (October 2005),

Despite its overengineered opponents, IP won the race to become the convergence layer for most communications services over many media types. But its age and its own success put significant stress on the protocol. If nothing else, the protocol needs more resources to sustain its adoption and to continue to generate new ideas for its use. The evolution of IP brings renewed energy that generates tremendous opportunities for nations, businesses, and individuals. The economic result of this evolution can be dramatic, primarily because the economies of scale can now be truly leveraged from IP environments of today and tomorrow. The adoption of IPv6 has the potential to reshape markets and to redefine the leaders in IT innovation worldwide. The only question remaining is: What strategy does one embrace in adopting IPv6?

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IPv6 Adoption Strategies

Throughout this book we underline the engineering perspective on IPv6 as an evolutionary rather than a revolutionary step for the Internet Protocol. At the same time, we highlight the potentially revolutionary impact that the Internet growth associated with IPv6 can have on businesses and national economies. Chapter 3, "The Economy of an IP Evolution," detailed some of the opportunities offered by the adoption of the new protocol at both a national and an organizational level.

IPv6 integration sustains, and will very likely accelerate, the continued adoption of IP while expanding its scope and coverage. In the process, IPv6 reignites the competition for leadership in technological and business innovation, in progressive governance, and in information and communications technology (ICT)-driven enablement. In a world where governments and businesses are fully aware of the power of ICT, it is only natural to have strategies developed to deal with an inflexion point such as the IP upgrade.

This chapter reviews some of the IPv6 adoption strategies that emerged by the beginning of 2007 at both government and business levels. They match visions that capitalize on the opportunities and risks analyzed in Chapter 3 with market and technological realities.

The variety of environments and conditions in which IPv6 applies makes it impossible to identify a single, best approach to planning the IPv6 adoption. Instead, it is better to focus on identifying major trends and perspectives, and then learn from concrete examples. Some of the strategies discussed in this chapter can be recognized in the real-life case studies presented in Chapter 5, "Analysis of Business Cases for IPv6: Case Studies." In the end, IPv6 adoption can be a significant undertaking and naturally poses challenges. Some of these challenges are discussed at the end of this chapter.

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