bit_internet_tech_logo Today we are talking to Wido Potters who works for BIT as manager Support & Sales. BIT is active as an hosting and access provider in the Netherlands.


Please tell us a little about BIT.

The company started in 1996 as Business Internet Trends and as so many
internet start-ups from a founder’s bedroom. Since then a lot has
changed at BIT, but two of the basic characteristics have remained unchanged.


First of all is the company technology-driven. All innovations at BIT
have a solid technological base and all products and services are
derived from this technological base. Unlike so many other internet
companies there is no place for market-driven hypes; how unfortunate was
the start-up’s name :) .


Secondly the company only offers business-to-business services. These
type of customers have different needs than private consumers. BIT has
decided to develop their products and services only for this type of
high demanding customers.


Since the start BIT has grown to a company with around 30 employees
nowadays. More and more we offer besides our internet-services,
infrastructure-services with our two data-centers and IP-network.
Custom-made solutions is the strong point of this independent ISP.

When and how did IPv6 began to be a part of BIT?

In 2002 the engineering department and management decided it was about
time to find out what was IPv6 all about and how BIT could play a part
in it. “It’s coming anyway so you better be ready for it” and the
BIT-dogma “Advance through knowledge” were decisive motivations to to
make a business case for IPv6 at the company. We believe that management
commitment is a crucial part for successful IPv6 implementations at
other companies, though it sounds like to force an open door.


What is the current status of IPv6 at BIT?

With e-mail in 2003 the first service was made IPv6-ready and BIT
provided SixXS with a POP in Ede. A year
later DNS and webhosting followed and other services quickly followed in
the years after. After a network upgrade in 2007 all BIT services,
including internet access services, became available over both IPv4 and
IPv6.


IPv6 is now business as usual for BIT. There is no difference between
IPv4 and IPv6 in availability, support or what so ever in our services.
The latter, support, is crucial in implementation as well. You have to
make sure that knowledge on IPv6 is as well spread as knowledge on IPv4
is, for your engineers, software, billing system (if applicable) and
support desk.


Since 2008 we have focused mainly on promoting IPv6, because
implementation in our own company was complete. It is nice to have your
own network and services completely dual-stack but when nobody connects
to them over IPv6, it still looks sad. Therefore we offer IPv6 traffic
for free to our own customers and free IPv6 transit to other ISP’s. We
organized free seminars we started a Dutch forum and brought up a Teredo
relay
. It is great to see that all these initiatives are welcomed enthusiastically
by a growing number of ISP’s, companies and individuals.


In what way do you expect to see IPv6 growth in the next couple of years for BIT?

There is no serious alternative for the inevitable depletion of
IPv4-addresses besides IPv6. The
internet will grow and consequently the need for IP-connectivity. Last
year we have seen a slow but steady growth in IPv6 traffic, though it is difficult to pinpoint and
leave out the influence of our own promotional activities. However
several (international) studies and statistics show growth in IPv6 traffic.

Till recently IPv6 was the playground of a small number of enthusiasts
and ‘IPv6-evangelists’ like BIT, but the need and acceptance overall has
grown. The number of articles on the subject, business-cases,
software-support, initiatives by government, organizations and
registries, etc. is exponential. Everything indicates a rapid growth of
IPv6 soon.


The availability of time is getting a serious thread to (internet)
businesses that haven’t started with implementation yet. These companies
aren’t too late yet, but some hastiness is needed. For sure there will
be companies that will not make it in time. BIT expects to benefit from
that.


Are there any things you would like to say about IPv6 in general?

I would like to take this opportunity to advice all companies offering
internet services to make a plan now, or they’ll be too late. Don’t
worry about the scope of implementation, but take it step by step.
Furthermore make sure that all investments you make on software,
hardware, etc. are IPv6 aware. Last but not least, demand IPv6 support
from your suppliers as well. At BIT we have heard the excuse “We will
support IPv6 soon, probably somewhere this year” for far too long and we
have decided to stop doing business with companies that don’t offer us
IPv6 at the end of this year. A radical but clear message and
alternatives are available.


Finally I want to give you a compliment on your website. More IPv6
places-of-interest are much needed to support IPv6-awareness and
necessity.


Thank you for your time Wido. We wish you and BIT good luck in the future! And lots of IPv6 traffic!