IPv6? Why, you are the first one to ask for it!

Fairly major global network provider likes to call themselves a "Tier
1". Asking about native IPv6 in one of their colo facilities in the UK.
They say their US facilities won't be v6 capable until Q4 2011. The UK
rep acted like it was the first he'd ever heard of it and implied we
were the very first to ask for it.

Note to providers: That might have worked a couple of years ago but
when we hear that today, we know it is false. Please be honest in your
responses to that question. If you aren't going to deploy it for
another year or two, just say so. The notion that we are the very first
ones to ever ask for it from a global provider in a major country is
just lame.


I would also recommend that the sales organizations of those providers be provided with some level of training and/or coordination with their SEs and technical groups to understand what people are talking about when someone asks about that "eye-pee-vee-six" thing. Another common complaint has been getting different (often contradictory) responses from different salescritters.


Having worked both inside and outside the ISP industry, I wouldn't necessarily trust a salesman to know a DSL from a leased line, let alone IPv6 vs IPv4, nor to have remembered being asked about it before. That's stuff for pre-sales engineers to handle, not the salesman.

If IPv6 is being mentioned in mainstream news media including local and
national TV news (which it has) then I would expect a salesperson of an
ISP to also be somewhat knowledgeable enough to be able to able to at
least spell it.

And I agree with the previous poster that in this day and age, it is
unlikely that the sales group of a global provider would not have
encountered such a request. If anything, they should have been hit with
those kinds of requests starting ten years ago. Perhaps that particular
salesperson had not but he/she should have been briefed on it and should
be familiar enough with deployment status to be able to talk
intelligently and honestly with a potential customer.

We've been the "first" for one of the oldest and best known Tier 1's in Metro Atlanta for quite some time....

It only took them 3 weeks to get the order right in their billing system and another 4.5 months to get it working.

Do please let me know which major global network provider this is. Off-list if you prefer.


Don't forget there is no commission for the salesperson to enable IPv6 for you, so definitively they are not interested and you asking them to deal with the issue, will just lower their pay at the end of the month because they could not use this valuable time to find customers with commissions...

And that, hits the hammer right on the nail...

Or to put it better:

It always just depends on whose pocket it is, in the above example the
blocker is the sales droid whose pockets won't get any deeper at the
moment, in a lot of other cases it is the management types who don't get
a direct benefit from it.

And actually, who can blame them? Be sure to know that when time runs
out though that they will come screaming at the techies, but then again,
those types generally don't get the bonusses for that then to save the
ass of the above types...


Perhaps that
salesperson had not but he/she should have been briefed on it and
be familiar enough with deployment status to be able to talk
intelligently and honestly with a potential customer.

I could buy that if it weren't for the fact that it took two days to come back with that answer. An off the cuff "wow, nobody has ever asked me that before, I need to check on it" would have been understandable for a new rep. Two days later coming back with "gee, we really haven't had anyone ask about that before" is bogus.

I am not trying to beat anyone up here, the point is a general one for the providers out there. If you can't offer v6, say so, don't try to dance around it and pretend that customer is the only one on the planet with a migration plan because we know better.

The board to the managers/sales people: "Please explain us again why we can't have more customers?"

I don't know about that.

Even though the carriers (USA) I've talked to are having trouble presenting native IPv6 to me in the next few quarters, they have no problem pitching professional services to help me with the implementation. Several of my hardware vendors have too. Don't be surprised at all to see this presented to senior management as a new revenue stream. "Helping the inept prepare for tomorrow".


"I was a normal American nerd."
-Jack Herer

The board to the managers/sales people: "Please explain us again why we
can't have more customers?"

Let's be real for a second, there are plenty of backbone-ish companies that have been around long enough to accumulate tons, and tons of IPv4 space.

I remember an old SP that used to give every PC in their NOC, possibly their whole company, a /24 and /16s weren't hard to get either. Lots of shops that had IP-based hosting that have gone name-based probably have tons of available space too.

The "no more IP addresses available" will affect folks unevenly... if I were to guess, mostly the folks that aren't large/old enough to have gobs of space lying around but are too large to get provider space. I'm also guessing that these guys are the ones creating the most pressure for IPv6 in their upstreams, as it serves their interests to make IPv4 unneeded as soon as possible.

The next big surge of IT spend that isn't about reduction or consolidation will create pressure on Enterprises to use more address space, and if they are nearly out of IPv4 space (with firewalls, NAT, VPNs, etc, not a lot of pressure there) they will push their SPs for it. Government contracts for telecomm all require IPv6 support, and all the vendors on them say they support it, but gov't customers trying to order say that is a no-go. (As of two weeks ago)... so even gov't isn't a big enough buyer to make this happen sooner.


While some companies will have plenty of IPv4 space for a long time, not
all the people they communicate with will. Some of them will be forced
into using IPv6 sooner rather than later. All companies need to be ready
for that regardless of how much IPv4 they have.


At this point, I'd even settle for a lie from one of my upstreams. I've asked the local tech folks a couple of times over the last year or so, on top of a request to our sales rep, without even a single response to the question of "do you support v6 yet and, if not, what's your timeline?".

You can use their reply to an IPv6 request as a bit of a bozo filter, much like the RFP discussed here used RFC 1149 to determine if the companies actually read and understood the RFCs they were expected to support.


I *love* using Bozo filters. Anytime you can trick companies into revealing their true colors, you are a step ahead in the game.


I guess I'll plug this Wikipedia page again:

I'm extremely annoyed by the marketing PR of those professional service arms when their transit/service provide business doesn't have IPv6 fully deployed. Please have your own house in order first, or be more humble about your services, please.


A senior technical person at my local (consumer) ISP here just told me that their IPv6 plans are "at an early stage" and "lots of work has to be done" before they can start testing. (I asked if they had plans for a friendly user test I could join.)

He also said that they understand that IPv6 is not ready because OS vendors have not implemented IPsec. Talk about a bozo filter...


PS: ISP is DNA/Welho.

AKA the Brown M&M gambit.

Well, if there is a sale to be made at all, and IPv6 is a
requirement for that particular sale, then any (other)
commission is dependant on enabling IPv6. So if you need to buy
IPv6, make it a required condition
before you agree to buy service, or let them know that
$other_big_provider is offering IPv6.
Sale = Possible commission.
No sale = No commission, period.

"You were the very first to ask for it."

Sounds like an excuse to me. No "excuse" validates a complete lack
of cognisance of IPv6 at this point.
Providers have had plenty of time to train their sales staff.

One can only hope their technical staff are ready to deal with any
IPv6 connectivity issues...

"You were the very first to ask for it" does not instill much
confidence or make a good
impression of the provider, even if IPv6 does turn out to be available
from them.