IPv6 has been on the Forum for Standardisation's 'use-or-explain' list for nearly ten years. That means IPv6 support has to be included in tender specifications for government contracts worth more than 50,000 euros, unless there are good reasons for their non-inclusion.
Yet less than a third of Dutch municipalities have IPv6-enabled public servers. The recently published IPv6 inventory found that 25 per cent of municipal websites could be reached using IPv6, while only 9 per cent of mail portals (MX gateways) were IPv6-enabled.
When the supply of IPv4 addresses actually runs out, some systems may become unreachable. IPv6 adoption is therefore important mainly to ensure the continuity of services to residents and businesses. All other benefits of IPv6 are secondary to that aim, says Herman Timmermans, IPv6 Project Leader at VNG Realisatie, the executive arm of the Association of Netherlands Municipalities (VNG).
The development of the Internet of Things (IoT) is feeding the demand for IP addresses. Although it is not yet possible to accurately estimate how many additional addresses will ultimately be needed, it is reasonable to assume that demand for static IPs will easily double in the next three to four years. It will simply not be possible to satisfy that demand on the basis of IPv4. Furthermore, the government has plans to start using its own IPv6 address blocks. That will have considerable management benefits. With a view to implementing the idea, VNG Realisatie has teamed up with Logius, which has its own IPv6 number plan. Government organisations that develop and manage their own on-line services will therefore be able to get IPv6 address blocks from Logius.
Finally, IPv6 forms part of the Common Municipal Infrastructure, an ICT infrastructure shared by municipal authorities and municipal consortia.
VNG Realisatie offers a support programme for municipalities that want to introduce IPv6. We provide information and communicate with interested parties via our website, by holding meetings and through our account managers. We also work closely with web service providers and suppliers that serve the municipal market.
You can check how far your own municipality has got with the implementation of IPv6 by visiting Waarstaatjegemeente.nl. For more extensive information about a particular domain's support for modern internet standards, visit the Internet.nl portal.