This report presents estimates of the costs and benefits associated with transitioning from Internet Protocol Version 4 (IPv4) to Internet Protocol Version 6 (IPv6). Cost estimates are based on likely development and deployment scenarios provided by stakeholders during interviews conducted by RTI International (RTI). Based on interviews, RTI estimates the present value of incremental costs associated with IPv6 deployment over a 25-year period to be approximately $25 billion ($2003),1 primarily reflecting the increased labor costs associated with the transition. Although these cost estimates seem large, they are actually small relative to the overall expected expenditures on IT hardware and software and even smaller relative to the expected value of potential market applications. Because major applications for IPv6 have yet to emerge, it is more difficult to quantify their potential benefits. Stakeholders participating in this study identified several major categories of IPv6 applications that, in total, are estimated to have potential annual benefits in excess of $10 billion2. These categories include Voice Over IP (VoIP), remote access products and services, and improved network operating efficiencies. However, benefits estimates included in this report are more subjective than cost estimates because they are based on Internet applications that are yet to be well defined. In addition, benefit estimates are potentially conservative because they do not reflect future, next generation applications that may be enabled by IPv6.
Planning Report 05-2: IPv6 Economic Impact Assessment, Other, National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD, [online], https://tsapps.nist.gov/publication/get_pdf.cfm?pub_id=912235
(Accessed June 2, 2023)