Transitioning to IPv6 was easier than we’d thought

Peru’s IPv6 transition is setting a regional example. In addition to leading all end-user traffic statistics, Peruvian organizations and Internet companies are promoting the quick adoption of this Internet technology.

During the LACNIC meeting held in Lima, Ivan Chumo, General Manager of Optical Networks, shared this Peruvian Internet Service Provider’s experiences in transitioning to IPv6.

Chumo admitted that, once the decision to adopt IPV6 had been made, deployment ended up being easier and less expensive than they’d thought

Years of experience in IPv6 implementation have led to the conclusion that one of the pillars for IPv6 adoption is buy-in by decision makers. In your specific case,  how did you come to be in a position to make this decision?

I’ve participated in several LACNIC events where the consistent message was “IPv4 will run out in just three years; in August next year IPv4 will be gone,” yet the fear of investing and the risk that another market player might lead the way are always there. In our country, we noticed that the incumbent operator began transitioning part of its ADSL customer base to IPv6. Since our main line of business lies within the corporate segment, we concluded that this transition was in fact a pressing need. About two years ago, I presented this idea to the Board and obtained their approval to start working on transitioning to IPv6.

What would have happened if another market player had embarked on the transition before you?

We began our transition to IPv6 to avoid being the last ones to do so. Even though we are not the dominant operator, we need to be watchful of the direction the market takes — given that most of our customers are corporate customers, we had no choice but to do this.  In parallel, certain public as well as private companies have yet to grasp the urgency of transitioning to IPv6. As both protocols will continue to coexist for some time, operators don’t feel the need to migrate and are delaying their decision to do so.  To us, IPv4 exhaustion means that we have already reached the IPv6 starting line.

Do you believe your decision to deploy IPv6 has encouraged others to begin considering their own deployment plans?

Many people have realized that they must be prepared.

What were the largest investments needed for the migration?

Surprisingly, the costs involved in the migration were not that high, as all equipment manufactured in recent years is already is IPv6 ready. Our main efforts focused on providing training for our staff and making sure that everyone was ready to manage our different platforms, something for which LACNIC’s annual meetings have been an invaluable resource.

How did the Engineering staff react to the changes ?

Our Engineering Department is always very open to new technologies and change.

What is the general feeling regarding IPv6 deployment in an organization such as Optical Networks ?

There’s a feeling of calm in the face of the future, as it’s always necessary to be prepared for change, combined with a feeling of great expectation, as we hope that at some point the corporate segment will react and demand IPv6 implementation.

Is this not happening today? Isn’t the market demanding IPv6?

No; neither the corporate market nor the residential market are demanding IPv6, let alone the Government sector. In Peru, for example, we are working together with several groups interested in promoting the transition, while simultaneously talking with members of parliament to get the Government to at least commit to an IPv6 transition timeline. This would create an incentive for the private sector to start working on the transition themselves.