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Assignment of an Ethertype for IPv6 with Low-Power Wireless Personal Area Network (LoWPAN) Encapsulation

The information below is for an old version of the document that is already published as an RFC.
Document Type
This is an older version of an Internet-Draft that was ultimately published as RFC 7973.
Authors Ralph Droms , Paul Duffy
Last updated 2016-11-16 (Latest revision 2016-06-06)
Replaces draft-droms-6lo-ethertype-request
RFC stream Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF)
Intended RFC status Informational
Additional resources Mailing list discussion
Stream WG state Submitted to IESG for Publication
Document shepherd Samita Chakrabarti
Shepherd write-up Show Last changed 2016-06-17
IESG IESG state Became RFC 7973 (Informational)
Action Holders
Consensus boilerplate Yes
Telechat date (None)
Responsible AD Suresh Krishnan
Send notices to "Samita Chakrabarti" <>
IANA IANA review state IANA OK - No Actions Needed
IANA action state No IANA Actions
6lo Working Group                                               R. Droms
Internet-Draft                                                  P. Duffy
Intended status: Informational                                     Cisco
Expires: December 8, 2016                                   June 6, 2016

     Assignment of an Ethertype for IPv6 with LoWPAN Encapsulation


   When carried over layer 2 technologies such as Ethernet, IPv6
   datagrams using LoWPAN encapsulation as defined in RFC 4944 must be
   identified so the receiver can correctly interpret the encoded IPv6
   datagram.  This document requests the assignment of an Ethertype for
   that purpose.

Status of This Memo

   This Internet-Draft is submitted in full conformance with the
   provisions of BCP 78 and BCP 79.

   Internet-Drafts are working documents of the Internet Engineering
   Task Force (IETF).  Note that other groups may also distribute
   working documents as Internet-Drafts.  The list of current Internet-
   Drafts is at

   Internet-Drafts are draft documents valid for a maximum of six months
   and may be updated, replaced, or obsoleted by other documents at any
   time.  It is inappropriate to use Internet-Drafts as reference
   material or to cite them other than as "work in progress."

   This Internet-Draft will expire on December 8, 2016.

Copyright Notice

   Copyright (c) 2016 IETF Trust and the persons identified as the
   document authors.  All rights reserved.

   This document is subject to BCP 78 and the IETF Trust's Legal
   Provisions Relating to IETF Documents
   ( in effect on the date of
   publication of this document.  Please review these documents
   carefully, as they describe your rights and restrictions with respect
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   include Simplified BSD License text as described in Section 4.e of
   the Trust Legal Provisions and are provided without warranty as
   described in the Simplified BSD License.

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1.  Introduction

   The IETF has defined a format for IPv6 [RFC2460] datagram
   encapsulation [RFC4944] ("LoWPAN encapsulation").  This document
   regards any IPv6 datagram using the Dispatch octet as defined in
   section 5.1 of RFC 4944 to be using LoWPAN encapsulation.  LoWPAN
   encapsulation as defined in RFC 4944 has been updated by [RFC6282],
   and may be extended and modified by future IETF standards document.
   The intended layer 2 technology for IPv6 datagrams using LoWPAN
   encapsulation as originally defined is [IEEE.802.15.4_2011], which
   does not provide for a protocol switch in its layer 2 headers.

   There is interest in supporting Ethertype based protocol dispatch for
   LoWPAN encapsulated IPv6 datagrams:

   o  Usage of LoWPAN encapsulation in conjunction with IEEE 802.15.9
      Multiplexed Data Service [IEEE802159], which provides the ability
      to perform upper layer protocol dispatch for IEEE 802.15.4
      networks.  Wi-SUN Alliance intends to use the 15.9 Multiplexed
      Data Information Element to dispatch LoWPAN encapsulation frames
      to upper stack layers.  As specified in IEEE 802.15.9, dispatch of
      LoWPAN encapsulation frames will require an Ethertype be assigned
      for LoWPAN encapsulation.

   o  LoWPAN encapsulation will likely be needed for WiFi Alliance's
      HaLoW [HALOW] standard (low power operation in the 900 MHz band)

   o  Other layer 2 technologies such as Ethernet and debugging tools
      such as Wireshark require a unique protocol type field for LoWPAN
      encapsulation to properly interpret IPv6 datagrams that use LoWPAN

   o  Any existing or future Layer 2 technology, incorporating Ethertype
      based upper layer dispatch, can use the Ethertype proposed in this
      document to dispatch LoWPAN encapsulated IPv6 datagrams.

2.  Request to IEEE for assignment of an Ethertype

   When this document is published, the IETF will formally submit a
   request to IEEE for assignment of an Ethertype for IPv6 datagrams
   using LoWPAN encapsulation.

3.  IANA Considerations

   This memo includes no request to IANA.

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4.  Security Considerations

   This document is intended only to request assignment of an Ethertype
   for IPv6 datagrams using LoWPAN encapsulation.  It has no incremental
   implications for security beyond those in the relevant protocols.

5.  Normative References

   [HALOW]    Wi-Fi Alliance, "Wi-Fi HaLow",

              IEEE, "IEEE Standard for Local and metropolitan area
              networks--Part 15.4: Low-Rate Wireless Personal Area
              Networks (LR-WPANs)", IEEE 802.15.4-2011,
              DOI 10.1109/ieeestd.2011.6012487, September 2011,

              IEEE, "IEEE Draft Recommended Practice for Transort of Key
              Management Protocol (KMP) Datagrams", IEEE P802.15.9/D04,
              May 2015.

   [RFC2460]  Deering, S. and R. Hinden, "Internet Protocol, Version 6
              (IPv6) Specification", RFC 2460, DOI 10.17487/RFC2460,
              December 1998, <>.

   [RFC4944]  Montenegro, G., Kushalnagar, N., Hui, J., and D. Culler,
              "Transmission of IPv6 Packets over IEEE 802.15.4
              Networks", RFC 4944, DOI 10.17487/RFC4944, September 2007,

   [RFC6282]  Hui, J., Ed. and P. Thubert, "Compression Format for IPv6
              Datagrams over IEEE 802.15.4-Based Networks", RFC 6282,
              DOI 10.17487/RFC6282, September 2011,

Authors' Addresses

   Ralph Droms
   55 Cambridge Parkway
   Cambridge, Massachusetts

   Phone: +1 617 621 1904

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   Paul Duffy
   1414 Massachusetts Ave.
   Boxborough, Massachusetts  01719

   Phone: +1 978 204 9993

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