IPv6 Support Required for All IP-Capable Nodes
RFC 6540

Document Type RFC - Best Current Practice (April 2012; No errata)
Also known as BCP 177
Authors Christopher Liljenstolpe  , Lee Howard  , Chris Donley  , Wesley George  , Chris Donley 
Last updated 2015-10-14
Stream IETF
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Stream WG state Submitted to IESG for Publication
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IESG IESG state RFC 6540 (Best Current Practice)
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Responsible AD Jari Arkko
IESG note Julien Laganier (julien.ietf@gmail.com) is the document shepherd.
Send notices to (None)
Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF)                         W. George
Request for Comments: 6540                             Time Warner Cable
BCP: 177                                                       C. Donley
Category: Best Current Practice                                CableLabs
ISSN: 2070-1721                                          C. Liljenstolpe
                                                     Big Switch Networks
                                                               L. Howard
                                                       Time Warner Cable
                                                              April 2012

             IPv6 Support Required for All IP-Capable Nodes


   Given the global lack of available IPv4 space, and limitations in
   IPv4 extension and transition technologies, this document advises
   that IPv6 support is no longer considered optional.  It also cautions
   that there are places in existing IETF documents where the term "IP"
   is used in a way that could be misunderstood by implementers as the
   term "IP" becomes a generic that can mean IPv4 + IPv6, IPv6-only, or
   IPv4-only, depending on context and application.

Status of This Memo

   This memo documents an Internet Best Current Practice.

   This document is a product of the Internet Engineering Task Force
   (IETF).  It represents the consensus of the IETF community.  It has
   received public review and has been approved for publication by the
   Internet Engineering Steering Group (IESG).  Further information on
   BCPs is available in Section 2 of RFC 5741.

   Information about the current status of this document, any errata,
   and how to provide feedback on it may be obtained at

George, et al.            Best Current Practice                 [Page 1]
RFC 6540                      IPv6-Required                   April 2012

Copyright Notice

   Copyright (c) 2012 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
   (http://trustee.ietf.org/license-info) in effect on the date of
   publication of this document.  Please review these documents
   carefully, as they describe your rights and restrictions with respect
   to this document.  Code Components extracted from this document must
   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.

Table of Contents

   1. Introduction ....................................................2
   2. Clarifications and Recommendation ...............................3
   3. Acknowledgements ................................................4
   4. Security Considerations .........................................5
   5. Informative References ..........................................5

1.  Introduction

   IP version 4 (IPv4) has served to connect public and private hosts
   all over the world for over 30 years.  However, due to the success of
   the Internet in finding new and innovative uses for IP networking,
   billions of hosts are now connected via the Internet and require
   unique addressing.  This demand has led to the exhaustion of the IANA
   global pool of unique IPv4 addresses [IANA-EXHAUST], and will be
   followed by the exhaustion of the free pools for each Regional
   Internet Registry (RIR), the first of which is APNIC [APNIC-EXHAUST].
   While transition technologies and other means to extend the lifespan
   of IPv4 do exist, nearly all of them come with trade-offs that
   prevent them from being optimal long-term solutions when compared
   with deployment of IP version 6 (IPv6) as a means to allow continued
   growth on the Internet.  See [RFC6269] and [NAT444-IMPACTS] for some
   discussion on this topic.

   IPv6 [RFC1883] was proposed in 1995 as, among other things, a
   solution to the limitations on globally unique addressing that IPv4's
   32-bit addressing space represented, and has been under continuous
   refinement (e.g., [RFC2460]) and deployment ever since.  The
   exhaustion of IPv4 and the continued growth of the Internet worldwide
   have created the driver for widespread IPv6 deployment.

George, et al.            Best Current Practice                 [Page 2]
RFC 6540                      IPv6-Required                   April 2012

   However, the IPv6 deployment necessary to reduce reliance on IPv4 has
   been hampered by a lack of ubiquitous hardware and software support
   throughout the industry.  Many vendors, especially in the consumer
   space, have continued to view IPv6 support as optional.  Even today,
   they are still selling "IP-capable" or "Internet-Capable" devices
   that are not IPv6-capable, which has continued to push out the point
   at which the natural hardware refresh cycle will significantly
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