Why the World IPv6 Launch is critical to preserve the open Internet

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With yesterday's World IPv6 Launch bringing about the permanent enablement of IPv6 access on thousands of websites around the world (including this one), I recorded a video for the Internet Society's stream of videos about why I see IPv6 as critical to preserve the "open" nature of the Internet.

As I say in the video, my big fear is that IPv4 address exhaustion will create a situation where Internet Service Providers (ISPs) will use what is called "carrier-grade NAT (CGN)" or "large-scale NAT (LSN)" to put all their subscribers behind a single public IPv4 address.

The ISPs then become the gatekeepers. They can determine what you will view - or what you will pay to view certain types of content.

They could also potentially restrict customer's access to the next great new service... the next Twitter or Facebook, for instance... until that service pays the ISP for access to customers.

It can completely flip the Internet around from one that thrives on "permission-less innovation" where anyone can create any service and make it available to all... to an Internet that is "permission-based" with gatekeepers controlling access at key points.

The migration to IPv6 does not, of course, remove the threat that the Internet very well could move toward a permission-based network... but the move to IPv6 removes IPv4 address exhaustion as an excuse to implement walled gardens.

To me, deploying IPv6 is a critical step to keeping the Internet open to innovation!

To learn more about IPv6 and how you can get started, check out the resources we are listing at the Internet Society Deploy360 Programme.

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