Increasing Number of Content Providers Adopt the New Internet Protocol

20/07/2021

LACNIC, the Internet Address Registry for Latin America and the Caribbean, presented recent data on the increase in the use of the new Internet Protocol IPv6 in South America, both by Internet users and by those providing Internet content.

These measurements were shared within the framework of the event organized by LACNIC to mark IPv6 Day’s tenth anniversary. During the event, presenters highlighted that one in five Internet users in our region surfs the net using the new protocol, most of them without even knowing it. The reason for this is that many Internet Service Providers (ISPs) have already deployed IPv6 and it is practically transparent to users.

IPv6 is the new generation of the Internet Protocol, and its enormous capacity is essential for connecting the exponentially growing number of devices resulting from worldwide deployment of the network and new technologies such as IoT.

According to the latest reports from LACNIC’s Technology department, the average regional IPv6 penetration rate (28%) is in line with the global average. Mexico, Brazil, and Uruguay are among the leaders of Latin American and Caribbean.

To connect to the Internet, each device must have an IP (Internet Protocol) address. Until a few years ago, the only Internet Protocol in use was IP version 4 (IPv4). However, the number of unique addresses allowed by IPv4 has been amply exceeded by the huge growth in the demand for connectivity. Now, IPv4 addresses are nearing exhaustion.

“In Latin America and the Caribbean there are approximately 400 million Internet users. As of today, approximately 188 million IPv4 addresses have been assigned. This means that more than 240 million users still need to connect to the Internet, yet we only have 1 million available IPv4 addresses for the region,” noted LACNIC CEO Oscar Robles.

While there is still a long way to go, content providers are also starting to publish over IPv6. “Internet giants such as Facebook, Google, Akamai, YouTube, and Zoom already offer their content over IPv6. In fact, more than 23% of content providers in Latin America and the Caribbean already do so,” added LACNIC CTO Carlos Martinez.

The barrier to publishing Internet content over IPv6 is currently not as complex as it was just a few years ago, as most of those who publish content do so through content distribution networks (CDNs) that already include IPv6 among their service offerings.

Lee Howard, a leading international expert on IPv6, observed that another great advantage of IPv6 is its lower latency compared to IPv4. In his presentation during LACNIC’s IPv6 Day celebrations, he shared that measurements confirm that the latest version of the protocol has lower latency than version 4, so “IPv6 is faster.”