Telecom Timeout

Aug 26 2010   3:47PM GMT

What do consumers care about IPv6? Tell us, please

Kate Gerwig Kate Gerwig Profile: Kate Gerwig

We’ve been hammering on IPv6 migration issues a lot lately, and we’ll probably keep yammering as IPv4 addresses dwindle. But to change up the IPv6 discussion, we thought we’d get off the “what you and your partners and vendors have to do” soapbox. Instead, we invited guest columnist Mike Jude, program manager at Stratecast/Frost & Sullivan, to weigh in on IPv6 through the eyes of the consumer. Have the majority of consumers even heard of IPv6? Do they care? According to recent Stratecast research, the short answers are: No and no.

We can understand why enterprises and government agencies are interested in their own IPv6 transitions, and buying IPv6 services like managed IPv6 router services, IPv6 test beds and IPv6-enabled managed firewalls from carriers might have some appeal (that could grow over time). But even most enterprises are more interested in running IPv6 through IPv4 tunnels for now.

The general wisdom is that carriers moving to IPv6 are paying for the upgrade themselves because it’s necessary. And yet, a few unnamed hopefuls want to pass IPv6 costs on to consumers. What would these customers be paying for, exactly? IPv6 access doesn’t exactly have the “gotta have it” sound of voicemail or Caller ID — yet. We were so busy scratching our heads that we had to bring Jude in to shed light on the subject. Have a look at what he has to say, and let us know what you think on the subject early and often.

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