February 2005 Newsletter

2005 is shaping up as the Year of International Collaboration for IPv6, as well as the year that IPv6 and a select few other technologies become widely known as The New Internet. As I write this, I am preparing to travel to New Zealand for an IPv6 seminar sponsored in part by the New Zealand government, and to the consortium meeting for HITLab NZ. HITLab stands for Human Interface Technology Laboratory, which is directed by Prof. Mark Billinghurst, who earned his doctorate at the University of Washington in Seattle. He is now helping to create novel possibilities for government, industry and academia to collaborate in countries around the world. The IPv6 community needs people like Prof. Billinghurst, who integrate IPv6 directly into their work. Once it's part of a research institute, the invisible advantages of IPv6 can be made more tangible and comprehensible to others, and diffused to other countries and societies.
In the spirit of collaboration, I am very proud to announce that the team that brings you this 6Sense newsletter and that organized the IPv6 Summits in San Diego, Arlington, Santa Monica, and Reston, will soon be presenting The Coalition Summit for IPv6. As with our most recent Summit last December, this event will also be held at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Reston, Virginia, in cooperation with the Dept. of Defense IPv6 Transition Office. This time we will be honored to host representatives from the militaries, homeland defense forces, governments, industry, and academia from a number of countries (both large and standard-setting as well as small, smart and nimble) that are on friendly and constructive terms with the US government. Our focus will be on international collaboration, and our intention is to give participants both inspiration and new possibilities from the people that they will meet.
We are honored that both of our grand sponsors, Spirent Federal and Juniper, will be returning as grand sponsors, as will several gold sponsors, including Lucent. We welcome your inquiries about participation to info@coalitionsummit.com. Web information can be found at www.coalitionsummit.com.
In this issue, we are please to present an exciting article on IPv6 for Consumer Electronics by Theodore Tanner of Microsoft, an enlightening Overview of the Ubiquitous Internet by Jean-Francois Tremblay of Hexago, and an important Perspective on Why the DoD Needs IPv6 Right Now from David Goodwin of Houston Associates. I've also written an article on IPv6 as an Instrument of Freedom Amplification, in response to and consonant with President Bush's Inauguration Speech. We hope these articles are both informative and stimulating for our readers, and invite feedback and comment. We look forward to a constructive and fruitful year, and to an IPv6 community that is rapidly growing both in size and cohesiveness.

The Ubiquitous Internet

Internet based networking is no longer only a matter of connecting computers together. Consumer devices using the Internet Protocol are invading our houses right now, competing with the traditional telephone and TV networks, creating a communications and entertainment revolution. In the not-so-distant future, every single device and appliance able to exchange data will be connected in a network. The flurry of new IP-based devices presented at CES 2005 is an indication of this trend.
However, the current generation of the Internet Protocol introduced in 1981 is not adapted to this new world of numerous, always-on and smaller mobile devices. One of the requirements for this new Ubiquitous Internet is Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6). Using IPv6 today, along with some innovative technologies from Hexago, can improve the customer experience and simplify the deployment of IP-based applications.

IPv6 for Consumer Electronics

Internet Protocol Version 6 (IPv6) is a critical enabling technology that will help ensure the Internet can support a growing user base and the increasingly large number of IP-enabled consumer electronics devices. The current Internet Protocol Version 4 (IPv4) has served as the underlying protocol for the Internet for almost 30 years and is showing its limitations. Its robustness, scalability, and limited feature set is now challenged by the growing need for millions of new unique IP addresses, spurred in large part by the rapid growth of new IP broadband network-aware consumer devices. Thus the need for the more comprehensive IPv6 protocol.

A Perspective on IPv6 and DoD Transformation - Why does the DoD NEED IPv6 Right Now?

IPv6 will create a military advantage. While many technology advocates have stressed that adoption of IPv6 will improve infrastructure, extend addressing and a host of other technical improvements, the single biggest DoD impetus is the shift to NETWORK-CENTRIC operations. DoD requirements have historically been technology accelerators, from aviation to dial tones, but it is the ability to successfully execute military strategy and tactics that is still the number one mission.
The shift to true network-centricity allows for a host of capabilities: dynamic situational awareness; flexible, mobile, and secure “infostructure;” holistic information assurance (Defense in Depth); use of COTS; collaboration; standards-based protocols; bandwidth on demand; converged communications; and converged voice/ video/ data/ graphic 2D & 3D as well as auto-configuration that will allow the use of many new devices without detailed technical support – for instance, sensor webs that can be deployed by ordinary soldiers or air-dropped with an absolute minimum of manual configuration.

IPv6 as an Instrument of Freedom Amplification

On January 20, 2005, President George W. Bush was sworn in for his second term, and gave a speech that sent shock waves around the world, because many leaders could infer that it announced a crusade against non-democracies. Since Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and Russia are more or less allied with the US against Al-Qaeda and other terrorist organizations, and China and Tibet are not free by American definitions, not to mention Iran, North Korea, and a host of other nations, the speech seemed to set the bar for America’s goal – a world without un-free countries – well beyond the grasp of a nation that is running half trillion dollar trade deficits and half trillion dollar federal budget deficits.
After this speech, the US seems faced with a difficult choice: either spend hundreds of billions or even trillions of dollars (that give no return on investment) in an attempt to improve the lives of others that might just get many of them killed, or don’t spend the money or the time, and fall short of the promised support, a globalized version of the call on Iraqis to rise up against Saddam Hussein that was met with inadequate support and was crushed. I say “seems” because there is a new approach that the Bush administration might take which could help it meet its stated objectives (some of which I will quote below from the speech transcript), while at the same time not running the same risks as the Iraq war.
The new approach is to provide Internet-enabled communications devices over the next five years to people who would not get them otherwise. If the US is budgeting for the entire world what it is spending on Iraq plus other aid programs and subsidies, it would have about $200 billion to put towards helping other nations. I believe that an IPv6-enabled device – if designed to be produced for minimum cost and manufactured in the billions – could be made for as little as $20. At $20 each, with $200 billion annually, the US could provide 10 billion devices a year. This is more than the number of people on earth (about 6.3 billion), so we could spend less, say $20 billion per year, and still give one billion IPv6-enabled communicators (herein called v6 Communicators) out annually, and by 2010 have every single human being have an Internet device.