There is good news for IPv6 as the future protocol of the Internet. It has been a long and rough road, but people are finally beginning to use NATIVE IPv6 to access web services. The funny thing is that the MAJORITY of IPv6 users in the USA don’t even know they’re using v6 at all!
While many US ISP’s are working toward IPv6 capability on home and business networks, the REAL IN-USE IPv6 DEPLOYMENT in the USA is MOBILE!! Here’s how to test if you’re using “MOBILE” IPv6 and you don’t even know it. Turn WIFI OFF on your smart-phone, then visit the following URL: http://ipv6test.google.com/ – the results on the page says “Yes, looks like you’re ready” if you’re connecting via “native” IPv6 (see screenshot below). If you’re connecting only over IPv4, the message is “No problems detected. You don’t have IPv6 …” A successful native IPv6 test is most likely if you’re on Verizon wireless as they were the first US mobile provider to begin IPv6 rollout to newer cellular devices. You can see a rough estimate of IPv6 usage in USA on the Google IPv6 Statistics page. Note that the usage swings around 2% daily and weekly – this is likely due to the limited deployment on business networks (personal mobile usage peaks during evenings and weekends). Native IPv6 in US is almost exclusively used by mobile devices as of Feb 2016. An extremely small number of home networks may be using native IPv6 – usually these are uber-geeks who are lucky enough to be served by an ISP where v6 service is available to the home (may require a special request to enable).
The mobile deployment is much more simple for providers because only a single v6 IP is assigned to each mobile device. Home and business networks are complex for v6 deployment because each customer router will be assigned a v6 prefix – it is then the responsibility of customer premises equipment (CPE) to support IPv6 address assignment for each device on home or business network (v6 router advertisement, etc). Because of the lack of NAT support in v6, it is also important for the customer border device to function as a stateful firewall (blocking incoming requests from outside untrusted systems). This complexity of deployment will cause extended delays in native IPv6 deployment in the home and office where service providers use a single link to serve MULTIPLE customer devices. To make home / small office deployment easier, DHCPv6 Prefix Delegation (often abbreviated as DHCPv6-PD) allows the ISP to dynamically allocate an entire IPv6 prefix to each subscriber – the customer router can then use SLAAC or DHCPv6 to configure clients on the customer network.