Small carriers aren't showing up to IPv6 standards chats, consultant warns

And that means useful stuff could be left out of customer premises equipment

Smaller ISPs are dealing themselves out of discussions about the inevitable transition to IPv6, a Spanish consultant warns, and could find their future defined by large telcos.

Frustrated at their indifference, Jordi Palet Martinez of Consulintel has appealed for just a bit more enthusiasm (and participation) from ISPs in IPv6 decision-making.

Palet Martinez would like, for example, comment on his attempt to baseline the requirements for customer premises equipment (CPE), now that the transition from IPv4 to IPv6 is inevitable (there being very few vacant IPv4 address blocks for allocation, anywhere in the world).

His draft proposes an update to the 2013 RFC-7084, and he says it's necessary to offer a starting point CPE vendors can work to.

Such considerations include how routers auto-provision an IPv6 WAN interface; gets addresses to provision the LAN interface; fetch configuration information from the service provider.

The Internet Draft notes that for more complex LAN configurations, CPE should be compatible with RFC-7788 (the Home Networking Control Protocol).

His note to various special interest groups warns that if ISPs and other stakeholders keep ignoring the IETF IPv6 Operations working groups, decisions will be made without their input.

The biggest risk for ISPs, Palet Martinez argues, is that most of the active voices in IPv6 Operations are larger operators:

“Generally large operators are involved,” his e-mail says, “which implies that your interests are not sufficiently represented, and in general [their interests] are contrary to yours.”

For small operators, Palet Martinez argues, a crunch is coming (if not already here): they have to keep supporting IPv4 customers when they can't get addresses; carrier-grade NAT is expensive and “breaks many things”; and “only the biggest ISPs have a great purchasing power and can influence the manufacturers to do for them what they need.”

Relatively seamless mechanisms like 464XLAT (which supports transition mechanisms for both stateless and stateful communications, as explained here) are available, but because there's no clamour to include it in CPE, manufacturers stick to the old RFC-7084 mechanism.

His efforts to update RFC-7084 is being met with resistance from large operators, Martinez says, and there's no small-to-medium input.

“I am not asking for your support for my documents, but for understanding the problem and the solution that is being proposed and/or possible new ones, and for the opinion of not only those very few “big ones”, but also of many small and medium, who are most affected”, he writes.

At least taking part means minnows in the Internet business would still get their voice humming in the eventual consensus. ®

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