IPv6 Adoption and Usage: Sprint, Facebook, US Government

Although the adoption of IPv6 has proved to be much slower than expected, the network protocol is making it’s way into the IT world.

This year has already had some interesting developments with the usage and adoption of IPv6 into the mainstream, not only in Asia and Europe, but surprising updates in the United States as well. Let’s take a look at some of the latest UPv6 implementations and news.

Sprint, one of the largest Internet providers across the globe has just completed the first phase of its IPv6 deployment for larger businesses and wholesale partners utilizing its North America Internet backbone.

Sprint plans to continue its implementation of IPv6 over the next few months and by the end of the year, begin rolling out IPv6 support to its remaining domestic points of presence and then start the process of deploying IPv6 to its Europe and Asia backbones.

This development is a major step forward for commercial adoption of IPv6 and I believe will begin a domino effect across the ISP community to deploy and offer IPv6 services. Large providers have limited deployments now, but once a stronger demand for IPv6 grows, larger scale deployments to backbones for commercial use will follow.


Adoption of IPv6 has now spread to the social networking world. Facebook recently announced at the Google IPv6 Implementers Conference that it was deploying IPv6 to be used with its social networking site.

Facebook stated that its foray into the IPv6 world was “experimental”, but it shows a trend for sites requiring worldwide connectivity. Users across the globe are already using IPv6 and providing a direct access to those users can increase their customer base.

In Facebook’s world of free social networking, advertisements are the real money makers and providing a larger and more global audience can only bring smiles to hungry vendors that advertise their goods and services there.

As sites like Facebook adopt IPv6, other sites like that offer similar services, including online computer games, will slowly but surely follow suit. Internet marketers are also starting to see the larger global reach that IPv6 will bring, but it will take more ISPs offering IPv6 services especially in North America for them to invest and take advantage.

US Federal Government Requires Vendor IPv6 Conformance

The United Stated Federal Government has put into effect a mandate requiring all IT equipment purchased in 2008 or later supports IPv6. As of July 1, 2010, the Federal Government has taken another step farther in enforcing this compliance.

As directed by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR), which is the primary acquisition regulation for the Federal Government, was modified. The modification included a requirement that all IT equipment must be evaluated and certified by an accredited laboratory for IPv6 conformance in accordance to guidelines set forth by the National Institute for Standards and Measures (NIST) and the USGv6 Group.

The step taken by the OMB is a major one. Changing provisions in the FAR to identify key parameters of IT equipment purchases is not a small undertaking. It is now up to the Federal Agencies themselves to implement IPv6 on the equipment that they have purchased. Groups like the Department of Defense and Department of Energy have already deployed IPv6 for some of their networks and some are working on their own rollouts, but there is more work to be done.

IPv6 Education

IPv6 adoption is continuing to rise, slowly but surely. Understanding of IPv6 in the coming years will become a very important skill for IT professionals and those with transition experience will definitely be in high demand.

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