28 July 2022 | 2 min read

Latest in the News: New Efforts to Speed up the IPv6 Adoption Rate

As the IPv6 adoption rate has been climbing painfully slowly, governments around the world are trying to introduce their own efforts and legislations in the hopes of speeding up the process.

A globe representing the internet and letters IPv6 in front of it.

At this point, no one can predict when IPv6 – the latest version of the Internet Protocol – will emerge from the shadows and take over the good old IPv4. When IPv6 was first introduced in the mid-90s, the internet community was excited to welcome a version of the IP that was not constricted by a highly limited number of unique IP addresses. Sadly, the excitement quickly shrunk, and the IPv6 adoption rate did not skyrocket as expected. Today, Google counts only around 40% of IPv6 adoption among users.  

Even the official IPv6 Launch Day event in 2012 could not kickstart a wider adoption of v6. However, even though device manufacturers and network developers are stalling, IPv6 enthusiasts are not giving up. New measures and task forces pop up frequently to remind us of the importance of the Internet Protocol ecosystem and IPv6’s role in it. See the measures the governments of the US, Kenya and Qatar are employing to transition to IPv6.  

The US General Services Administration proposes IPv6 transition guidelines 

The Federal IPv6 Task Force under the supervision of The US General Services Administration is getting ready to introduce IPv6 transition guidelines. This comes as a move to prepare for the government’s transition from IPv4 to IPv6.  

According to a White House memo from 2020, signed by the Director of the Office of Management and Budget, at least 20% of IP-enabled assets on Federal networks must operate in IPv6-only environments by 2024. By 2026, the portion of assets must reach at least 80%.  

This bold move indicates the US government’s push towards a fully functional infrastructure that is supported by IPv6 alone.  

Kenya pushes for full IPv6 adoption by the end of 2023 

While the US government plans to transition to IPv6 on a federal level within the next 3-4 years, Kenya has much grander goals. The Communications Authority of Kenya has announced plans to transition from IPv4 to IPv6 in the next year. The authority fears that failure to transition to IPv6 could cause internet access issues and block the development of the ITC sector. 

Currently, Google estimates around 5.53% IPv6 adoption in Kenya, and with 23.35 million internet users countrywide, transitioning to IPv6 is not a small feat by any measure. Nonetheless, the Communications Authority plans to accelerate the adoption of IPv6 by approving only IPv6 compatible devices starting July 2023.  

A world map representing Kenya's IPv6 adoption percentage.
IPv6 adoption in Kenya (data by Google, July 2022)

Qatar doubles its IPv6 Taskforce 

Qatar’s Communications Regulatory Authority might not have proposed a deadline for full IPv6 adoption like Kenya; however, it is gearing to speed up adoption with 15 new members in the Qatar National IPv6 Taskforce. The group of 33 members is ready to oversee the transition to IPv6. 

The Taskforce works in alignment with Qatar National Vision 2030 goals, according to which the country will become more advanced and capable of sustaining development. Just like the US and Kenya, Qatar ignores the possibility of building a more sustainable Internet Protocol ecosystem with the help of IPv4 – a resource that is currently supporting the internet en masse.