Is the Transition to IPv6 a “Market Failure?”

Geoff Huston writes: Many views of the transition to IPv6 assume that the combination of the factors of the imminent exhaustion of the unallocated pool of IPv4 addresses and the conventional dynamics of an open competitive marketplace in the ISP sector will be sufficient to propel the transition to IPv6. The question I would like to pose here is: Is this an appropriate view of the transition to IPv6? An alternative view is that this transition to IPv6 has already stalled over the past decade, and we should be prepared to view the current situation as an instance of a “market failure” in economic terms, where the transition will require the impetus of some form of response associated with the distribution of a “public good”, and that conventional market dynamics are in and of themselves incapable of sustaining such a transition.

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