Most of our attendees are from Northern Virginia, so I'd
like to thank you as a group, and get you thinking
about your collective might and how much you can accomplish
if you get your Congressional delegation out in front
on IPv6. Just write and ask them to lead on IPv6.
They can and will.
I think Northern Virginia (where I grew up) will end up being the regional
center for US IPv6 as a result of five factors:
- The highest per capita IPv6 event attendance of
any metro area on Earth: a 2,000 man-day edge in exposure
to the leading IPv6 information.
- The largest concentration of teams with IPv6 transition
contracts in the US, including v6 Transition, SI International,
Lockheed Martin, MITRE and Booz Allen.
- The legacy of US government leadership when new
protocols come onto the scene, backed by $2.6 trillion/year
in federal spending, with $65 billion in federal IT
spending and, out of that, $25 billion/year in Dept.
of Defense IT spending, of which Virginia gets a large
- The DoD and OMB mandates for IPv6, with all leadership
in DC, Virginia and nearby Maryland.
- Congressional leadership by Rep. Tom Davis (R-VA),
who chaired the only hearings by a legislative body
on IPv6 leadership in the US.
Five elements are still needed to ignite a commercial boom. Virginia's
congressional delegation, especially those running for higher office should
take note, and take action on these. Northern Virginia was blessed by
the IPv4 Internet boom, as we can see from the explosion of building around
Dulles Airport with logos like AOL, Nextel, Sprint, Raytheon, Northrop
Grumman, all of whom where aided and enabled by the Internet. If the Japanese
government is correct in its forecast that the IPv6 industry will be worth
$1.55 trillion in 2010 (only four years away), and history follows the
pattern of the last Internet boom, Northern Virginia would be twice blessed.
Last time the US got about half the world Internet business, and Northern
Virginia got about half the US Internet business (start with AOL's
$165 billion — locked by its merger with Time Warner, and you go
from there). If the US got half of the IPv6 business, this would be about
$750 billion a year (and up, after 2010), and Northern Virginia would
get $375 billion a year. Please tell me, dear members of Congress, what
other issues that you can take leadership on, in which No. Virginia has
comparative advantages in, that would give your constituents a better
return on your time invested than supporting IPv6?
If Northern Virginia's Congressional delegation (including its
two esteemed Senators) got solidly unified behind IPv6 leadership, the
entire country would benefit, though Northern Virginia would benefit the
most on a per capita basis, and even in absolute terms. However, as I
said, there are five things needed to make IPv6, and No. Virginia's
IPv6 leadership, a guaranteed success, over other aggressive competitors
such as Tokyo, Seoul, Beijing, Taipei, Bangalore, Shanghai and other metro
- Real funding for IPv6, and an end to the nonsense of unfunded mandates
for IPv6, which cause no end of sore feelings and have no empirical evidence
of ever leading to technology leadership. Real funding means billions,
not a few millions, of dollars.
- A dedicated Federal IPv6 Transition Office. I really love and honor
OMB for its IPv6 guidance. However, anything that's part of the
Executive Office of the President is not synonymous with detailed geek,
nerd and grunt work. OMB is the primus inter pares, the first among equals,
the Goldman Sachs of federal agencies. What's needed is a few hundred
network builders who are fueled by pizza and diet cola, and whose exercise
comes from Nerf gun battles, who will reply all day and night to questions
that range from really dumb ("What is IPv6?") to really hard
("How do we coordinate 1,400 first responders to this San Diego
fire?") to really scary ("How do we keep a foreign network
of savvy hackers from crashing our network and turning our servers into
zombies?"). Japan has over 300 full-time federal employees working
solely on its IPv6 transition. Korea has over 70 — proportionate
to its GDP. This would be the equivalent of over 700 US federal IPv6 employees.
If Congress doesn't make a Federal IPv6 Transition Office it won't
happen. Without a Federal IPv6 Transition Office the US will end up with
millions of unanswered questions and the equivalent of dozens of different
national railroad gauge standards. What we need is the coordination that
allowed the Golden Spike to be driven, connecting railroads from east
and west with perfect precision as we did at Promontory Point in 1869,
the last spike of the first transcontinental railroad.
- A definition of IPv6 Capable that is 100% home grown and not a leftover
from IPv6 standards invented elsewhere.
- Stretch goals and visionary proposals. If Congress is going to get
involved with IPv6, rather than just appropriating real money, then it
should demand some real achievements, like true interoperability between
DoD, the National Guard and the tens of thousands of first responder or
emergency responder teams. Like IPv6-enabled sensors that will tell everyone
who should know when a nuke or a bio weapon has been set off. Like IPv6
static addresses being given to every single citizen, just like static
phone numbers, so that we can stop the flood of spam, identity theft and
spoofing, and allow everyone to get tagged with the reputation they deserve
for their Internet citizenship. Over 40 million credit card records were
stolen this year because Congress has been too soft and demanded too little
from the Internet community. Time to demand a huge upgrade, but also to
pay to play.
- The world's greatest IPv6 test center. We need an objective and
effective center that can test and demonstrate what "IPv6 capable"
really means, especially in today's complex multifunction consumer
and government products.
If these five things came to pass, and the Federal IPv6 Transition Office
and the IPv6 test center were based in Northern Virginia, I think that
we'd see a commercial explosion in IPv6 that would be comparable
to the IPv4 boom of the late 1990s.