IPv6 Adoption starts with Education

EDU/IPv6With world-wide IPv6 usage, as measured by Google, at around 45%, questions arise, how do we push it higher? What is left to be done?

Education is the Key

Technological evolution occurs in different places and times. Formal training, and On the Job Training (OJT) are just some of the ways technological learning occurs.

Because I am an IPv6 evangelist, about six years ago I started working with a local college here in Victoria, BC to add IPv6 to their instruction. At the time, there was no IPv6 on campus. The Computer Science Department, and some instructors were open to bringing IPv6 to the class room. I was invited to be a guest lecturer for the IPv6 part of the lesson plan.

In those early days, I brought an OpenWrt router into the Lab, and injected RAs for hands-on students learning. We covered the basics of IPv6, and more importantly, how to open a listening socket for IPv6 (and IPv4).

The department got the College’s IT group on board, which requested and received an IPv6 PI Block. They now use their own IPv6 address space in the lab for students.


In this college, Capstone is a final-semester-long project, where students work with sponsors to create a project useful for the sponsor, which provides a real-world learning experience for the students.

I was invited to be a sponsor, submit a project, and not surprisingly it included IPv6. During the project selection process, the sponsors interviewed over 50 students looking for a good fit with the proposed projects.

All of the students I interviewed knew about IPv6, thanks to the work the CS Department had done. They were far from experts, but knowing that IPv6 exists put them a step ahead.

The project selection process is still in progress, hopefully some of the students will be interested in the IPv6 project.

Starting early

If IPv6 is going to conquer the world, and because IPv6 is truly the future of the internet, then we need the young network designers to be thinking about how to eliminate the complexities of NAT from our networks. To re-think how to build networks with simplicity and non-repudiation again. To build peer-to-peer networks, and move away from the centralized-server model (because of NAT), that is so prevalent today.

There are gobs of software applications which already support IPv6, if only, they were configured to use it. Let’s work together to get IPv6 into our schools, get our youth thinking about doing amazing peer-to-peer things using IPv6.


Author: Craig Miller

IPv6 Advocate since 1998