Operators in the LAC region are starting to massively deploy IPv6 among their customers, as they know this is the only way to grow.
Following IPv4 address exhaustion in the region, LACNIC has focused much of its energy on promoting IPv6 adoption and these efforts have resonated with professionals and Internet organizations throughout Latin America and the Caribbean, who are now deploying this technology.
Telecentro Argentina is one such case. Since September 2016, all their new customers are using dual-stack. Today the company has more than 35,000 IPv6 clients and its IPv6 traffic is constantly on the rise.
Alejandro D’Egidio, Head of Backbone Engineering at Telecentro Argentina, told LACNIC News that their entire network is now fully IPv6 enabled, after a period of production during which they gradually enabled this technology.
What was the internal process for deploying IPv6 like? Was it a technical decision or a business decision by Telecentro’s management?
We have been permanently working on IPv6 for a few years now. We first configured IPv6 transport on the MPLS backbone, then we enabled IPv6 on the links with our upstream providers to prepare the access network and the internal provisioning and monitoring systems.
IPv6 deployment was a strategic decision from the outset, as Telecentro is constantly investing in the latest technology available on the market in order to offer a transparent and high-performance service to its users.
Why do you consider IPv6 deployment a priority?
Given that IPv4 exhaustion was unavoidable, Telecentro began to plan the necessary changes several years ago. With IPv6 we want to continue offering our users a transparent, high-quality, high-performance service.
The most popular services today (Netflix, Google, etc.) are already working over IPv6 and, in view of IPv4 exhaustion, we believe IPv6 deployment is extremely important and that traffic is already moving to this new version of the IP protocol. This means that users continue to access these services without using a CGN solution.
Do you believe that IPv6 is the solution to potential difficulties resulting from IPv4 exhaustion?
In part, I believe it is. IPv6 adoption is very important, not only for ISPs – more content providers should also be involved.
On the other hand, we are convinced that an optimization of IPv4 address space is required, as three are still many companies with assigned /8 IPv4 address blocks (IBM, Level3, General Electric Company, Ford Motor Company, etc.). Continuing with this topic, we understand that many ISPs do not feel the need to begin transitioning to IPv6, as they have a large number of available IPv4 addresses, another aspect that should also be reviewed.
How have your users responded?
Thanks to the many hours invested in preparing definitions, team work with providers and testing, the transition has been completely transparent to residential users.
Corporate customers had been asking for IPv6 for some time, so the news that we were able to provide IPv6 was well received.
Have you noticed an increase in IPv6 traffic since your deployment?
Yes. IPv6 traffic has grown considerably since we began our massive deployment, as all our new customers are provisioned with dual-stack.
The growth of Telecentro’s IPv6 traffic and how it affects Argentina’s indicators is reflected in various public reports:
Changes in Google statistics after Telecentro deployed IPv6:
You can see that Telecentro already has more than 35,000 users with IPv6, which represents 70% of all IPv6 users in Argentina.
Based on your experience, what recommendations would you offer other operators in the region who are still in the process of deploying IPv6?
I would recommend beginning deployment as soon as possible, even if they don’t feel an immediate need to do so, as this can help them plan the changes with anticipation and introduce the necessary updates as transparently as possible to end users. It is very important to use this time to train everyone involved, as this will help to better identify all the necessary requirements and the impact of each definition.
The process may involve several challenges, but success is possible if you keep your eye on the goal.