Title6bone (IPv6 Testing Address Allocation) Phaseout
AuthorR. Fink, R. Hinden
DateMarch 2004
Format:TXT, HTML

Network Working Group                                            R. Fink
Request for Comments: 3701                                     R. Hinden
Obsoletes: 2471                                               March 2004
Category: Informational

            6bone (IPv6 Testing Address Allocation) Phaseout

Status of this Memo

   This memo provides information for the Internet community.  It does
   not specify an Internet standard of any kind.  Distribution of this
   memo is unlimited.

Copyright Notice

   Copyright (C) The Internet Society (2004).  All Rights Reserved.


   The 6bone was established in 1996 by the IETF as an IPv6 Testbed
   network to enable various IPv6 testing as well as to assist in the
   transitioning of IPv6 into the Internet.  It operates under the IPv6
   address allocation 3FFE::/16 from RFC 2471.  As IPv6 is beginning its
   production deployment it is appropriate to plan for the phaseout of
   the 6bone.  This document establishes a plan for a multi-year
   phaseout of the 6bone and its address allocation on the assumption
   that the IETF is the appropriate place to determine this.

   This document obsoletes RFC 2471, "IPv6 Testing Address Allocation",
   December, 1998.  RFC 2471 will become historic.

1.  Introduction

   The 6bone IPv6 Testbed network was established in March 1996,
   becoming operational during the summer of 1996 using an IPv6 testing
   address allocation of 5F00::/8 [TEST-OLD] that used the original (and
   now obsolete) provider based unicast address format.  In July 1998, a
   new IPv6 Addressing Architecture [ARCH] replaced the original
   provider based unicast address format with the now standardized
   Aggregatable Global Unicast Address Format [AGGR].

   To allow the 6bone to operate under the revised IPv6 address
   architecture with the new Aggregatable Global Unicast addressing
   format, [TEST-OLD] was replaced with a new IPv6 testing address

RFC 3701                  6bone Phaseout Plan                 March 2004

   allocation" of 3FFE::/16 in [TEST-NEW].  During the fall of 1998, in
   anticipation of [AGGR], the 6bone was re-addressed under the
   3FFE::/16 prefix with little problems.

   From the fall of 1998, until the issuance of this note, the 6bone has
   continued to successfully operate with Aggregatable Global Unicast
   Address prefixes from the 3FFE::/16 allocation, using a set of 6bone
   routing practice rules specified in [GUIDE], and later refined to
   6Bone backbone routing guidelines in [PRACTICE].

   During its lifetime the 6bone has provided:

      - a place for early standard developers and implementers to test
        out the IPv6 protocols and their implementations;

      - a place for early experimentation with routing and operational

      - a place to evolve practices useful for production IPv6 prefix

      - a place to provide bootstrap qualification for production IPv6
        address prefix allocation;

      - a place to develop IPv6 applications;

      - a place for early users to try using IPv6 in their hosts and

   As clearly stated in [TEST-NEW], the addresses for the 6bone are
   temporary and will be reclaimed in the future.  It further states
   that all users of these addresses (within the 3FFE::/16 prefix) will
   be required to renumber at some time in the future.

   Since 1999 planning for, and allocation of, IPv6 production address
   prefixes by the Regional Internet Registry (RIR) community has been
   underway.  During 2002 more production IPv6 address prefixes had been
   allocated than are allocated by the 6bone at the top level.  It is
   generally assumed that this is one reasonable indicator that planning
   for a 6bone phaseout should begin.

   It is generally assumed that there is still some remaining need for
   the 6bone, at least for current usage that will take time to evaluate
   and possibly move to production IPv6 networks when possible.

   It is generally viewed that the 6bone is an IETF activity as it was
   established by IETF participants to assist the IETF in developing
   IPv6 protocols, and also to assist in the IPv6 transition.  To this

RFC 3701                  6bone Phaseout Plan                 March 2004

   end, the [TEST-NEW] RFC specified that the 6bone testing was to be
   under the auspices of the IETF IPng Transition (ngtrans) Working
   Group 6bone testbed activity.  However, during 2002 the ngtrans
   working group was terminated and replaced to a certain degree by the
   v6ops working group, which did not include oversight of the 6bone in
   its charter.  Therefore it is assumed that it is appropriate to use
   the IETF Informational RFC process to determine a 6bone phaseout
   plan, as well as an appropriate way to get community feedback on the
   specifics of the 6bone phaseout.

   This plan for a 6bone phaseout specifies a multi-year phaseout
   timeline to allow sufficient time for continuing operation of the
   6bone, followed by a sufficient time for 6bone participants to
   convert to production IPv6 address prefixes allocated by the relevant
   Regional Internet Registry (RIR), National Internet Registry, or
   Local Internet Registries (ISPs).

   It is anticipated that under this phaseout plan the 6bone will cease
   to operate by June 6, 2006, with all 6bone prefixes fully reclaimed
   by the IANA.

   This document obsoletes RFC 2471, "IPv6 Testing Address Allocation",
   December, 1998.  RFC 2471 will become historic.

   The key words "MUST", "MUST NOT", "REQUIRED", "SHALL", "SHALL NOT",
   document are to be interpreted as described in [RFC2119].

2.  6bone Phaseout Plan

   To provide for the continuing useful operation of the 6bone, to the
   extent that IETF consensus judges it to be useful, 6bone top level
   address prefixes known as pseudo TLA's (pTLAs) MAY continue to be
   allocated until January 1, 2004.

   Thus after the pTLA allocation cutoff date January 1, 2004, it is
   REQUIRED that no new 6bone 3FFE pTLAs be allocated.

   To provide for sufficient planning time for 6bone participants to
   convert to production IPv6 address prefixes, all 6bone prefixes
   allocated by the cutoff time specified above, except for allocations
   withdrawn as a matter of 6bone operating procedures, SHALL remain
   valid until June 6, 2006.

   Thus after the 6bone phaseout date June 6, 2006, it is the intent
   that no 6bone 3FFE prefixes, of any size/length, be used on the
   Internet in any form.  Network operators may filter 3FFE prefixes on
   their borders to ensure these prefixes are not misused.

RFC 3701                  6bone Phaseout Plan                 March 2004

   It should be noted that this RFC does not intend to imply that a
   6bone prefix holder, whether at the pTLA top level or lower, should
   seek a production IPv6 address prefix at any specific level.  It may
   be entirely reasonable for a 6bone prefix holder to seek a higher
   level, or a lower level, IPv6 prefix as their specific needs dictate.

3.  References

3.1.  Normative References

   [ARCH]     Hinden, R. and S. Deering, "Internet Protocol Version 6
              (IPv6) Addressing Architecture", RFC 3513, April 2003.

   [AGGR]     Hinden, R., Deering, S. and M. O'Dell, "An Aggregatable
              Global Unicast Address Format", RFC 2374, July 1998.

   [RFC2119]  Bradner, S., "Keywords for use in RFCs to Indicate
              Requirement Levels", BCP 14, RFC 2119, March 1997.

   [TEST-NEW] Hinden, R., Fink, R. and J. Postel, "IPv6 Testing Address
              Allocation", RFC 2471, December 1998.

   [TEST-OLD] Hinden, R. and J. Postel, "IPv6 Testing Address
              Allocation", RFC 1897, January 1996

3.2.  Informative References

   [GUIDE]    Rockell, R. and R. Fink, "6Bone Backbone Routing
              Guidelines", RFC 2772, February 2000.

   [PRACTICE] Durand, A. and B. Buclin, "6bone Routing Practice", RFC
              2546, March 1999.

5.  Security Considerations

   This document defines a phaseout plan for the usage of the IPv6
   Testing Address Allocation [TEST-NEW], which uses addresses
   consistent with [AGGR].  It does not have any direct impact on
   Internet infrastructure security.

6.  IANA Considerations

   This document defines a phaseout plan for the usage of the IPv6
   Testing Address Allocation [TEST-NEW].  The IANA MUST reclaim the
   3FFE::/16 prefix upon the date specified in section 2.0.

RFC 3701                  6bone Phaseout Plan                 March 2004

   When the 6bone Testing Address Allocation is reclaimed by the IANA,
   it is expected that many network operators will filter it on their
   borders to ensure these prefixes are not misused.

   There is experience from the IPv4 world that such filters may not be
   removed promptly should this address space be reallocated, and it is
   recommended that the IANA bears this in mind before reallocating it
   in a manner that would require it to be routed globally within the
   current Internet.

7.  Authors' Addresses

   Robert L. Fink

   EMail: bob@thefinks.com

   Robert M. Hinden
   313 Fairchild Drive
   Mountain View, CA 94043

   Phone: +1 650 625-2004
   EMail: bob.hinden@nokia.com

RFC 3701                  6bone Phaseout Plan                 March 2004

8.  Full Copyright Statement

   Copyright (C) The Internet Society (2004).  This document is subject
   to the rights, licenses and restrictions contained in BCP 78 and
   except as set forth therein, the authors retain all their rights.

   This document and the information contained herein are provided on an

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