Just come out of committee room 19 at the House of Commons where a “summit” was held to discuss the state of IPv6 readiness of UK plc. The summit was chaired by Ed Vaizey, Internet minister and together with Timico had representatives of the other top network operators aka BT and Virgin. The mix was enhanced by Cisco, Nominet, Ofcom and other stakeholders.
Reality is that most ISPs have IPv6 covered, or at least a plan in place. The issue is that the rest of UK industry doesn’t. There has been extreme apathy in the corporate sector to push this technology forward.
This is completely understandable. Currently there is no problem. Considering this given a choice between spending money upgrading the corporate network or investing in a revenue generating service the former is a difficult sell for a CIO.
Businesses do need to guard against complacency though otherwise they might find themselves with a problem that will either cost a lot of money to fix quickly or take years of planning.
Neither is government prepared, as far as we can see. This compares with other parts of the world where governments are either mandating IPv6 (eg Malaysia) or are cracking ahead with full blown implementation projects (US Navy/NATO apparently).
In the UK it would appear that IPv6 is seen as a more expensive short term option for projects, at a time where cost control is clearly important. There was a general consensus amongst the 15 or so attendees that the Government should lead on this and that this would spur industry into action.
I agree with this. The cost argument is not a real one but the complacency is. Also we run the risk of other countries being ahead on the innovation curve as they think of ways of exploiting the huge number of IP addresses that now become available with IPv6.
There isn’t a desperate panic here but UK plc does need to get a wiggle on.
Check out the DCMS press release on the summit here http://www.culture.gov.uk/news/news_stories/8205.aspx