11 April this year I had a chance to attend bdNOG5 and ION Conference 2016 which was held in Dhaka. It was quite a good crowd and I got the opportunity to present a case study on the IPv6 deployment status in Bangladesh. I would like to share the brief of my presentation here.
Summarizing IPv6 history of the country
So far, APNIC delegated more than 350 AS Numbers, about 550 IPv4 prefixes and nearly 150 IPv6 prefixes to different organizations in BD. Interestingly, Bangladesh got its first v6 prefix assignment from APNIC back in June 2006 though it was not until 2011 when the first v6 prefix was announced in global routing table originated from the country. The potential reason was that both of the transit providers, available in BD at that time, were not ready to offer v6 transit to the ISPs. However, the first v6 traffic was seen even later. Though about 10 ASNs from Bangladesh generated v6 traffic till today, only a couple of them are continuing it. Notably, none of them participated in World IPv6 Day (June 8, 2011) or in World IPv6 Launch (June 6, 2012).
What’s happening now
Hurricane Electric and Cisco Lab measured 71 v6 prefixes in global table that are generated by 31 AS numbers from BD. Out of nearly 150 v6 prefixes 14 are active and another 100 or more are never announced. That clearly indicates a slower v6 deployment stage in BD. Cisco Lab finds only 9 ASNs (out of 112) that provides v6 transit. There are 20 v6 enabled ASNs that are seen to provide transit only on v4.
IPv6 Adaptation in BD
The v6 adaptation rate in Bangladesh measured by APNIC and Google is fluctuating near 0.02%. Compared to other South Asian countries Bangladesh is lagging behind in this voyage. I would like to show v6 readiness of some of the sectors and entities below:
- Service Providers: Out of 9 Telco and WiMAX operators, only 3 are announcing v6 prefixes but none of them generates v6 traffic now. Out of about 300 other ASNs consist of different operators, service providers and enterprises, only 29 are announcing v6 prefixes.
- Content Providers: Total 69 websites including international pages like google.com.bd are IPv6 enabled. Out of Alexa’s top 500 websites of BD, only 8 local websites are IPv6 enabled which are mostly reachable through CloudFlare and other third party service providers.
- BDIX: BDIX provides dual stack service and there are 52 v6 prefixes in their network.
- .bd ccTLD: .bd has IPv6 enabled nameservers but it does not support AAAA glue records yet.
Challenges are There
Personally, I think the prime challenge of IPv6 deployment is the mindset. Larger organizations may think that their v4 network works absolutely fine and they don’t need to use v6 so early. Others may find it challenging due to lack of confidence. Some are waiting to see how others are dealing with it. Besides, there are technical challenges as well. Many organizations may have hardware and software limitations. Upgrade might be necessary which involves new investments. And of course there needs technical expertise.
Government and regulatory bodies can play pivotal role in IPv6 deployment in the country. Imposing mandatory IPv6 features while purchasing new equipment would accelerate the process. Telcos, ISPs and content providers should consider deploying IPv6 in their networks on urgent basis. That would increase v6 traffic significantly. Sometimes success stories play catalytic role on others. Sharing knowledge and experience about IPv6 deployment would be encouraging for the community.
IPv6 Deployment Experience in BdREN
I concluded the presentation by quickly sharing my v6 deployment experience in BdREN. Getting our v6 prefix from APNIC we made our addressing plan following the IPv6 subnetting BCOP. While configuring the equipment, we followed almost similar sequences as we do for IPv4. After that, we seek for v6 transit from our upstream. Then, we enabled v6 to our servers and services like web, mail, DNS, NTP, SIP etc. Right now, BdREN is the highest v6 traffic generator in the country.
Acknowledgement and Disclaimer
Most of the statistics were last updated on April 10, 2016. Please check the sources for latest information. I have used statistics, tools and materials of Eric Vyncke, Philip Smith and Mark Prior as well as from APNIC, Cisco, Google, RIPE, Hurricane Electric, Alexa, ISOC and many other sources. Sincere thanks to them.