Understanding the Share of IPv6 Traffic in a Dual-stack ISP

Passive and Active Measurement Conference
Sydney, Australia


After almost two decades of IPv6 development and consequent efforts to promote its adoption, the current global share of IPv6 traffic still remains low. Urged by the need to understand the reasons that slow down this transition, the research community has devoted much effort to characterize IPv6 adoption, i.e., if ISPs and content providers enable IPv6 connectivity. However, little is known about how much the available IPv6 connectivity is actually used and precisely which factors determine whether data is exchanged over IPv4 or IPv6. To tackle this question, we leverage a relevant vantage point: a dual-stack residential broadband network. We study interactions between applications, devices, equipment and services, and illustrate how these interactions ultimately determine the IPv6 traffic share. Lastly, we elaborate on the potential scenarios that dual-stack ISPs and content providers may confront during the Internet’s transition to IPv6.