IPv4 being exhausted, Europe leads IPv6 adoption: Akamai

  • Available IPv4 address space continues to shrink; only Japan from Asia in top 10 IPv6 adopters
  • Strong high-speed broadband adoption across Asia (including Malaysia); Korea leads the pack

IPv4 being exhausted, Europe leads IPv6 adoption: AkamaiTHE Internet world continued to use IPv4 (Internet Protocol version 4), whose list of available IP or website addresses are quickly being exhausted, while adoption of the newer IPv6 protocol continues at a slow pace, according to the latest ‘State of the Internet’ report by Akamai Technologies Inc.
 
IPv4 allows ‘only’ billions of IP addresses, while IPv6 – sometimes described as the ‘next-generation Internet’ – would allow the number to use to trillions, which is becoming critical as more mobile devices connect to the Internet.
 
Akamai which provides cloud services for delivering, optimising and securing online content and business applications, recently released its Third Quarter, 2013 State of the Internet Report. Based on data gathered from the Akamai Intelligent Platform, the report provides insight into key global statistics such as network connectivity and connection speeds, attack traffic, and broadband adoption and availability, among many others.
 
The Third Quarter, 2013 State of the Internet Report includes insights into the likelihood of repeat DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) attacks against an individual target, the continued attack activity by a group calling itself the Syrian Electronic Army, as well as observations on Akamai traffic activity related to Internet disruptions in Syria, Myanmar and Sudan.
 
The report also reviews mobile browser usage by network type based on data from Akamai IO, and includes data on IPv6 adoption for the first time.
 
More than 760 million unique IPv4 (Internet Protocol version 4) addresses from 239 unique countries/ regions connected to the Akamai Intelligent Platform during the third quarter of 2013, a 1.1% increase over the second quarter and an 11% increase year over year, Akamai said in a statement.
 
Since a single IP address can represent multiple individuals in some cases – such as when users access the Web through a firewall or proxy server – Akamai estimates the total number of unique Web users connecting to its platform during the quarter to be well over one billion.
 
The number of unique IPv4 address seen by the Akamai Intelligent Platform worldwide rose by more than eight million over the quarter, with growth observed in six of the top 10 countries (Figure 7).

IPv4 being exhausted, Europe leads IPv6 adoption: Akamai

Year over year, the number of global unique IPv4 addresses connecting to Akamai grew by more than 123 million, with nine of the top 10 countries/regions showing growth.
 
The overall pool of available IPv4 address space continued to shrink in the third quarter of 2013, as Regional Internet Registries allocated/ assigned blocks of IPv4 address space to organisations within their respective territories.
 
Meanwhile, European countries have taken a clear lead in IPv6 adoption, with seven of the top 10 countries, the company said. Conversely, only one country in Asia Pacific (Japan) is among the top 10 (Figure 10).

IPv4 being exhausted, Europe leads IPv6 adoption: Akamai

Over the course of the third quarter of 2013, IPv6 traffic levels on the Akamai Intelligent Platform grew from just over 176,000 hits/ second to more than 277,000 hits/ second.
 
IPv6 traffic continued to exhibit a cyclical weekly pattern, with volumes dipping each Saturday, likely indicating a greater level of IPv6 adoption across corporate/ enterprise networks than consumer ISPs (Internet service providers).
 
Colleges and universities have historically been early adopters of new Internet technologies, and this appears to be especially true for IPv6 as well, Akamai said.
 
In contrast to the prevalence of European countries among the top 10 in Figure 10, however, the institutions with the highest percentage of content requests over IPv6 were more broadly mixed geographically, as Figure 11 shows.

IPv4 being exhausted, Europe leads IPv6 adoption: Akamai

Connection speeds
 
The global average connection speed continued its upward trend in the third quarter of 2013, climbing 10% over the previous quarter to 3.6 Mbps. A total of 122 countries/ regions that qualified for inclusion saw average connection speeds increase during the third quarter, with growth ranging from 0.5% in Namibia (to 1.1 Mbps) to a 76% increase in Nepal (to 3.6 Mbps), Akamai said.
 
Average connection speeds saw a 29% year-over-year increase, with all of the top 10 countries/ regions climbing 27% or more. Globally, 133 qualifying countries/ regions saw year-over-year increases in average connection speeds, from 0.2% in Egypt (to 1.2 Mbps) to 259% in Réunion (to 6.8 Mbps).
 
Global average peak connection speeds showed a slight decline in the third quarter of 2013, dropping 5.2% to 17.9 Mbps. Seven of the top 10 countries/ regions saw increases in average peak connection speeds during the quarter, ranging from 0.5% in Hong Kong (to 65.4 Mbps) to 19% in South Korea (to 63.6 Mbps).
 
Meanwhile, Romania, Latvia and Belgium saw declines of 4.4%, 3.3% and 3.6% to 45.4, 43.1 and 38.5 Mbps, respectively.
 
Year over year, the global average peak connection speed grew 13% over the third quarter of 2012. Yearly increases among the top 10 countries/ regions ranged from 15% in Latvia to 63% in Singapore.
 
Worldwide, 115 qualifying countries/regions showed yearly growth in average connection speeds, with increases ranging from 0.3% in South Africa (to 11.9 Mbps) to 111% in Palestine (to 19.9 Mbps).
 
Global high broadband (>10 Mbps) adoption rose 31% quarter-over-quarter to reach 19%. Global broadband (>4 Mbps) adoption improved 5.8% over the quarter to reach 53%.
 
“In the third quarter of 2013, we observed that long-term growth in average and average peak connection speeds remained strong, as did growth in global broadband and high broadband adoption rates,” said David Belson, the report’s editor.
 
“We believe these trends point to continued improvement in the quality and performance of Internet connectivity in countries around the world,” he added.
 
Next page: Broadband in Asia Pacific, security issues
 

 
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