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Why World IPv6 Launch Matters to Communicators / PR / Marketing

Worldipv6launch 256With World IPv6 Launch happening last week, what does something as technical and geeky as "IPv6" have to do with people in public relations (PR) and marketing? Why should communicators really care about the underlying "plumbing" of the Internet?

As a user of a browser, the answer is that right now you as a communicator probably don't have to worry all too much... odds are that your operating system and browser will all work just fine with IPv6 once you have IPv6 connectivity from your Internet Service Provider(ISP).

However, as a PUBLISHER of content (ex. websites, videos, images, audio, articles, etc.) out on to the Internet, communicators NEED to understand what is going on with the transition to IPv6 - and how you can enable your content to be available to people over IPv6. To put the reasons succinctly, they are:

  • Speed - As areas of the world run out of IPv4 addresses, networks will be established with IPv6. Those networks will have "gateways" to content that is still on IPv4, but those gateways will inherently add latency / delays to people getting your content. If you want people to get to your content as quickly as possible (and to get to your content versus other content, since speed will increasingly count in search results), you'll want to make it available over both IPv4 and IPv6.

  • Access to new/emerging markets - Best estimates are that around 2 billion people are currently on the Internet. That leaves 5 billion more who will be coming online in the months and years ahead. Odds are that a large number of those will wind up on IPv6 networks.

  • Freedom / control - As IPv4 addresses continue to run out, some ISPs may put their entire networks behind a single public IPv4 address using something called "Carrier-Grade NAT (CGN)" or "Large Scale NAT (LSN)". The challenge for communicators is that these ISPs will then be in a position to be "gatekeepers" and either deny access to your content - or to charge customers, or YOU, for access to that content. Moving to IPv6 alone won't entirely prevent this from happening, but it will remove "IPv4 exhaustion" as an excuse for ISPs to do this.

  • IPv6 is the "new normal" - The Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) recently issued a statement that pretty much ensures that all new standards will require IPv6... and you can expect new tools and services to emerge that are based on IPv6. Sooner or later you're going to need to have your content available on IPv6... why not be a leader instead of a laggard?

As to the "HOW", we've put together an IPv6 guide for content providers over at the Internet Society Deploy360 Programme that walks through the steps you need to consider.

In my recent reports into the For Immediate Release podcast I have covered this in some detail. First, in FIR 653, I spoke about WHY it is important for communicators / PR / marketing to understand what is going on with IPv6:

And then in FIR 654 I spoke at more length about HOW communicators can IPv6-enable their content, essentially covering the steps in the Deploy360 guide for content providers:

The reality is that the Internet of the future will be based on IPv6 - you as a computer need to understand how you can make your content available over this newer Internet.

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