Growing the Internet

Becoming Broadband Ready Means Community Innovation and Collaboration

There are countless communities across North America that are hungry to see better broadband access for their residents. It’s clear to local leaders that high-quality Internet access is the bedrock of a healthy and successful community – providing job opportunities, bolstering education, transforming health care, and democratizing access to information. What isn’t always so clear is how to make it happen.

That’s why Next Century Cities teamed up with the Internet Society and Neighborly to create the Becoming Broadband Ready toolkit. This comprehensive toolkit provides local leaders with a roadmap to encourage broadband investment in their community.

While every community will choose to tackle connectivity a little differently – a small island community and a large urban center will likely have unique considerations and approaches – there are many common threads that run through successful broadband projects. Becoming Broadband Ready compiles these threads into an easy-to-use and impactful resource for any community, providing resources specific to:

  • Establish Leadership
  • Build a Community Movement
  • Identify Goals
  • Evaluate the Current Circumstance
  • Establish Policies and Procedures to Support Investment
  • Prioritize Digital Inclusion
  • Identify Legislative and Regulatory Barriers
  • Explore Connectivity Options
  • Explore Financing Options
  • Be a Clear Collaborator
  • Measure Success

Next Century Cities identified the toolkit’s key priorities by learning from the countless communities that have taken action to connect residents to fast, affordable, reliable broadband. The toolkit lifts up local solutions so that communities can learn from one another about what does and doesn’t work at the municipal level – from innovative financing models to collaborative infrastructure permitting practices.

Fostering robust broadband access is no small undertaking. The technology is complicated, the policy considerations are nuanced, and the regulations are always changing. But municipalities have extraordinary amounts of resources that can be leveraged to encourage investment in broadband infrastructure and ultimately better connectivity.

For example, in the state of Nebraska, municipalities are barred from providing broadband service or from leasing fiber. So when the city of Lincoln wanted to do something to encourage broadband investment, local leaders had to come up with a creative solution. The city ended up building a 350 mile conduit network along abandoned water lines, traffic conduit, electric conduit, and gas lines. The city has leased out the conduit to seven different carriers, creating healthy competition, and has generated nearly half a million dollars per year in lease revenue. Despite significant legislative barriers, Lincoln found a way to bolster access to broadband, and the community is reaping the results.

Separately, cities like Huntington Beach, California have developed creative permitting practices to encourage wireless investment. In order to prepare for 5G deployment, the city worked collaboratively with several wireless providers to create four small cell design standards. The designs are publicly available, and if a provider submits permitting applications to the city that match the designs, they are able to move forward with an expedited approval process. Since implementing this process, the city has created agreements with multiple wireless carriers, and has also become the first community in the United States to deploy Philips Smart Fusion Poles.

The toolkit is full of creative local solutions like these that encourage connectivity. In addition to providing examples throughout each topic section, the toolkit includes topic-specific reading lists and checklists of action steps.

Additionally, the toolkit was purposefully developed as a website so that it can be updated easily and often. New technologies and network models mean that best practices are always evolving. Next Century Cities will continue to add information, links, and sections to this toolkit so that it remains a core resource for communities into the future.

Becoming Broadband Ready’s strength is in the innovative successes of tenacious communities and organizations across the country. If you have a suggestion or contribution, or if you would like to become a member of Next Century Cities, please reach out to

Find all of Next Century Cities’ resources and tools to encourage local broadband expansion and adoption on our site.

Internet of Things (IoT) IPv6 Technology

IPv6 Deployments Need To Be Planned, But It ‘Just Works’ – Lessons from Broadband World Forum

Last week I had the pleasure to visit the Broadband World Forum in Amsterdam. It gathers fixed and mobile access providers and vendors that sell the equipment that these providers use to bring us the Internet. Walking around the exhibition floor I got the impression that the hottest areas are home automation, as the consumer-facing pieces of the Internet of Things, and virtualization that seems to sneak closer and closer to the edge.

While home networking and the Internet of Things were being marketed everywhere, in only two or three hard-to-find places did I see any mention of IPv6. If the Internet is supposed to connect a significant fraction of the predicted 20 billion Things by 2020, it is somewhat amazing that the addressing scheme that allows for end-to-end connectivity is not prominently mentioned. We had to ask, and in our statistically insignificant sample we did assess that IPv6 is part of many product offerings.

Still, while IPv6 may be in the products, most of us are not being offered IPv6 when we connect to the Internet. Hoping to inspire other access providers to deploy IPv6, we organized an IPv6-dedicated session with participation from Hans Thienpondt from Telenet Belgium, Bjørn Netland from Telenor, Nick Heatley from EE UK, and Timo Hilbrink from XS4ALL.

Hans gave an introductory presentation describing the experience of deploying IPv6 in Telenet. Telenet has a huge deployment. In our measurements at World IPv6 Launch we show that 40% of the traffic coming from their network uses IPv6. Hans explained that the choice for IPv6 was a strategic one: with the IPv4 address shortage there will be a point that while continuing to use carrier grade NATS (CGNs) the complexity and brittleness, and hence the cost, will continue to grow, and additionally, the risk of bad user experience will continue to grow. By introducing IPv6, one allows for a growth path whereby the CGNs keep having reasonable headroom and the user experience remains acceptable. Hans told us that their experience with using IPv6 so far is entirely positive.

During the panel discussion with all the network operators, we realized that the deployment experience for these service providers was similar: The strategic vision was developed by the engineers and sold to upper management about five years ago and the deployment followed a relatively careful and slow path, in bottom-up fashion, so to speak. One of the audience members made clear that bottom-up is not the only way: he had been told by upper management to deploy about three years ago.

Another similarity is that when users are offered IPv6, the traffic patterns demonstrate a significant fraction of their traffic being over IPv6: 20-30% being somewhat typical for an IPv6-enabled user, and all that without increased helpdesk pressure.

The holy grail of IPv6 transition techniques is to be able to run a single stack IPv6 network, but still allow a state-of-the-art user experience for applications and services that have not transitioned to IPv6 and only run over IPv4. We talked about two hurdles getting to IPv6 only networks.

While IPv6 deployment is ramping up in the mobile environment there are still hurdles to overcome for mobile operators to run IPv6 exclusively: during inter-provider roaming one cannot rely on ubiquitous availability of IPv6 on each network and there remains a need to configure two profiles: an IPv6 profile for home and an IPv4-only profile for the roaming user. That seems to be a complexity that is not going to go away soon.

Another challenge for IPv6-only deployments in the mobile space is the availability of the client component of 464XLAT (RFC6887) in terminal equipment. Support for that technology is not yet ubiquitous and not yet on the roadmap of all mobile device producers. In spite of this we see significant deployments of IPv6 in at least two large mobile networks in North America – Verizon Wireless and T-mobile USA. So it is quite possible and we look forward to seeing more deployment in this space.

When the Internet Society first began discussing IPv6 deployments with operators at the Broadband World Forum, there was very little experience to share. Now, just four years after our first participation in a similar panel at BBWF in Paris, we can point to massive deployments of IPv6 in networks such as Comcast, Deutsche Telekom, and KDDI. And now IPv6 is used by the most-visited websites in the world: Google, Facebook, YouTube, Yahoo!, and Wikipedia. It’s great to see this kind of progress towards a better and more robust Internet.


New CEA Webinar Archive on IPv6 and Broadband

The Consumer Electronics Association has organized a series of webinars on IPv6, with the first one being this week on Tuesday, 12 August, on IPv6 and Broadband. I contributed an introduction from the Internet Society perspective on IPv6 deployment, pointing to the ongoing World IPv6 Launch measurements, Google’s global IPv6 measurements, and a list of the areas where we at the Internet Society would like to see more IPv6 deployment, specifically:

  • Mobile networks
  • Websites
  • Home consumer electronics devices (TVs, game consoles, DVRs, etc.)

After my introduction, a series of network operators talked about their own IPv6 deployments, their challenges, their solutions, and remaining obstacles to more IPv6 deployment. Speakers were Barbara Stark from AT&T; Samir Vaidya from Verizon Wireless; and Hans Thienpondt from Telenet. John Brzozowski, the moving force behind Comcast’s IPv6 rollout who also chairs the CEA IPv6 Working Group, moderated the panel and led an insightful question and answer session to cap it all off. All of these folks have done real heavy lifting to get IPv6 deployed in their networks, and all of their networks show up in the top 10 networks in our World IPv6 Launch Measurements.

I’m happy to report that a publicly available recording of this webinar is available at

Register Now for the Next CEA IPv6 Webinar

As I mentioned, this is the first in a series of planned webinars and while this one was focused on the ISP and mobile operator perspective, the next one, on 16 September, will feature a number of large website operators who have also enabled IPv6 on their networks. Google, Facebook, and Netflix will talk about the work they have done to get IPv6 enabled on their websites. You can register for this seminar here. (There is a fee for folks who are not CEA members to join this webinar).

From the webinar’s abstract:

The IPv6 Transition: Making Content Available and Ensuring the Optimal Customer Experience
Tuesday, September 16, 2014
2:00 – 3:00 PM ET

While some mainstream content providers have enabled their content to be available over both IPv4 and IPv6, a large population of the same continues to be available only over IPv4. Join this webinar to learn why making your content available over IPv6 is critical to the IPv6 transition and more importantly to ensure an optimal customer experience.  As part of this webinar, manufacturers, service providers and retailers in the consumer electronics industry will learn why support for IPv6 is important as the steps required to ensure popular consumer electronics are enabled to support and actively using the same.

I hope you enjoy this month’s IPv6 webinar archive and can tune into the next one on 16 September. Also keep in mind if you’re looking for detailed information on how to deploy IPv6 on your own network, you can always look to our Internet Society Deploy360 Programme for real-world deployment information.

Growing the Internet

Broadband Latin America – Building a Connected Society (Over IPv6, Of Course!)

Broadband networks are an important part of fulfilling our vision that the Internet is for Everyone. We have been active in the annual Broadband World Forum in Amsterdam for several years and this year we are participating in the Broadband Latin America for the first time. The event takes place in Sao Paulo next week on 3-4 June.

I’ll be there to meet and talk with network operators. You can find me at our booth – booth #9 – on the floor of the exhibit. Please drop by, I’d love to talk. The organizers interviewed me about our participation at the show, and you can read the full interview here.

In addition, Sebastian Bellagamba, our Regional Bureau Director for Latin America, will be participating in an interactive panel discussion on the topic “Building a Connected Society.” This will occur at 14:50 on 4 June (the second day of the event). Special thanks to Sebastian for the translation of this post below, too.

We hope you can join us!

Broadband Latin America – Construyendo una Sociedad Conectada (sobre IPv6, por supuesto!)

Las redes de banda ancha son una parte importante del cumplimiento de nuestra visión de que Internet es para todos. Hemos participado activamente en el Broadband World Forum en Amsterdam durante varios años y este año vamos a participar en Broadband Latin America por primera vez. El evento tendrá lugar en Sao Paulo los días 3 y 4 de junio.

Estaré allí para conocer y hablar con los operadores de red. Me pueden encontrar en nuestro stand – stand #9 – en el piso de la exposición. Por favor, acérquense, me encantaría conversar. Los organizadores me entrevistaron acerca de nuestra participación en el evento, pueden leer la entrevista completa aquí.

Además, Sebastián Bellagamba, nuestro Director de la Oficina Regional para América Latina, va a participar en un debate interactivo sobre el tema “Construyendo una Sociedad Conectada “. Tendrá lugar a las 14:50 del 4 de junio (segundo día del evento).

Esperamos que puedan unirse a nosotros!