The global migration to IPv6 has been slow coming. Even as the last few remaining chunks of IPv4 address space are being allocated, many organizations around the world are just now beginning to look at IPv6. And what they’re finding often isn’t pretty: mediocre application support, security issues, and really long addresses that are hard to rattle off. It has been estimated that a significant move toward IPv6 won’t be seen for at least five years, and IPv6 won’t be on par with its predecessor for at least another ten.

This got some people within the IETF thinking about an alternative to the new protocol. Realizing that the primary goal of IPv6 was to provide an increased address space, they began to reconsider whether an entirely new protocol was really necessary in the first place. Still in its infancy, work is underway on a new IETF draft which ditches IPv6 altogether in favor of a simple extension to its predecessor: IPv4.1.

More on