EU Commission promotes IPv6
Twenty-five per cent of all European users should have the opportunity to use IPv6 by the end of 2010, and should be able to access most of their normal services and content with it. The EU Commission will set this goal in a statement, to be published at the end of May, on the new internet protocol and progress in the net. Detlef Eckert of the General Directorate for Information Society and Media presented the key points of the statement and a related action plan at the RIPE meeting in Berlin. The Commission is joining organisations like the Réseaux IP Européens Network Coordination Centre (RIPE) in calling for rapid action in the face of dwindling reserves of IP addresses.
In Berlin, Eckert presented four central areas of action: The Commission intends to promote IPv6 to providers of content, applications, and services; public calls for tenders will be used as a vehicle to promote IPv6 as the standard for all products and services Europe-wide. Campaigns will recommend controlled migration scenarios and will help to embed IPv6 training programmes. Finally, a separate dialogue will be conducted on the topics of security and data protection.
As quickly as possible – no later than 2010 – the web presence of the EU, especially under the Europa and Cordis domains will be made IPv6 capable. This is intended to set an example and to be a call, especially to large scale providers, to do the same. But it is critical that both the Commission and the US government make it a prerequisite in their calls for tenders for network services and hardware to support IPv6. That is just what the EU Commission wants to recommend to the 27 EU member states.
Eckert said that progress on the road to IPv6 varied among the EU states and praised the efforts of the German government. He expects it to present a clear course at the upcoming IPv6 Summit in Potsdam. At the RIPE meeting in Berlin, an appeal was made to government representatives to apply for an assigned IPv6 address block.
In the framework of this discussion, the Commission is hoping to point the way to an IPv6 friendly course for all 27 EU member states in a council declaration. In the declaration, Eckert expressed the hope that member states would commit to making their own internet offerings IPv6 capable – ideally tied to a specific deadline. However, at first it would probably be easier to encourage making IPv6 a standard requirement for all government calls for tenders. The Chief Information Officers (CIO) of all 27 EU states will gather at a conference for this purpose in June.
RIPE reacted to this announcement with guarded optimism. A BT expert advised the commission to also consult with the management of the big telecommunications companies as well as the CIOs of the member states. This technical expert was of the opinion that this topic has not received adequate attentiont at the leadership level of these companies. According to Eckert, the commission is planning such talks. In order to determine how successful the campaign is, the commission is also planning to test IPv6 accessibility in the net in 2009 and 2010.