IPv6 and the Chinese student doing skype with grandpa.

This is part of my series on [http://v3.tronche.com/section/ipv6/foreseeing-ipv6-deployment (Trying to) foresee IPv6 deployment]. The Chinese student doing Skype with her family is my paradigm for the first step in IPv6 propagation: getting pressure from China to student-gathering countries. I do think that exhaustion, in the sense of the first machines with ''only'' IPv6 because-there-is-no-other-choice, will be the customer of some Chinese ISP in the coming months or weeks. There are several reasons to support this assertion: * IPv6 is already quite developed in China, as witnessed by my [http://v3.tronche.com/content/ipv6-report IPv6 report]. * Chinese ISPs have been allocating many addresses in the "last days" of the IPv4 from APNIC, meaning they need them to connect their customers, and very soon, they won't have any other choice than to use IPv6. This '''does not''' mean that their customers will be able to access only IPv6 sites, but rather that they will go to some cumbersome CGN[1] to access IPv4. Cumbersome, because CGN means sharing IPv4 addresses between many users, which in turns most often than not means connections can only go outside (from the customer to external sites), but incoming connections (from the outside to the customer network) are impossible. So long for Skype and its likes. In short, using IPv6 for the ISP means for the customer (hopefully) good IPv6 connectivity, and crappy IPv4 access, especially by comparison with today IPv4 quality. However... * ...we tend to spend most of our time on a few web sites (even if [[ipv6-big-content-vs-important-content|other contents are important too]]). If they are available over IPv6, the problem of the reduced IPv4 quality may be mitigated. Chinese customers tend to go to "regional" content, such as Baidu and Alibaba rather than Google and Ebay, at least for linguistic reasons if no others. Since these regional content providers get their addresses from the same RIR, they feel the same pressure to go IPv6 than their ISP counterparts. Thus, they are likely to switch IPv6 on quite sooner, if they haven't done it already. All in all, this means that, even if Internet is a global thing, Asia in general and China in particular, will feel the need for IPv6 sooner than others. And because it is feasible and useful to exchange IPv6 traffic inside the region rather than with the outside, this is what is likely to happen. Now the question is: how will the pressure spread from a region to another one ? Here comes the Chinese student. Imagine you're her. In order to pursue part of your curriculum, you come to some country, say France. I believe there are about 30 000 Chinese students in France. Certainly you want to stay in touch with your family, so before leaving, you get an Internet connection for your grandmother and grandfather, and since there is no IPv4 left, this is an IPv6 connection with some CGN scheme to access IPv4. You get your grandparents a laptop, put Skype on it (with an icon on the desktop configured for your Skype id, because, you know, grandpa...), take the plane (12 hours flight), and finally get to France. Now you have to solve the other half of the problem, namely get an IPv6 connection to have Skype working. Fortunately, Free, the 3rd largest ISP in France, has been providing IPv6 in addition to IPv4 for several years now, so at least you have one choice. Of course, you could always use a tunnel broker such as [http://he.net/ Hurricane] or [http://www.sixxs.net/ SixXS] to get access to IPv6 over an IPv4 connection using tunnels. If you're a computer student, that's a good exercise. If you're a business student and you can't find someone to do it for you (for free, because you know, student money...), that's just not an option. Now, if you're 2nd largest ISP in France SFR or Orange (the 1st one), can you afford to lose 30 000 new customers to the competition ? And they're only the '''first''' 30 000. I guess you can't, so SFR and Orange are both making IPv6 available for their customers as part of their "triple-play" plans (internet access, VoIP and broadcast TV over internet, all included for a flat price), and the pressure spreads. If you're in the US, I believe there are 130 000 Chinese students coming to US every year. And Comcast has an IPv6 offer. If you're Comcast competition can you afford to lose that many customers ? ---- [1] When I'm talking CGN here, I mean something like DS-lite, that is carrying the customer's IPv4 LAN through an IPv6 tunnel to a point in the network where it's NATed to a (shared) public IPv4 address. Not that, unlike NAT in the modem, you can't have UPnP with CGN.