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Abstract

The introduction of a new network level protocol called Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6) represents a significant step forward in the development of the Internet. While IPv6 offers a number of advantages over the current standard (IPv4), its adoption has been inconsistent, often varying by geographic and political region. Through an investigation of early and late adopters of IPv6, this paper seeks to understand the factors that influence the time of adoption decision. The study was conducted in two stages. In the first stage, we interviewed Internet thought leaders. Based on previous literature about the characteristics of early and late adopters, and characteristics specific to IPv6 derived from the interviews, we developed a set of initial notions describing the conditions that are likely to encourage early adoption of IPv6. In stage two we tested those conditions through interviews with eight ISPs in six countries. We found that relative advantage, uncertainty and risk, crisis, and power relationships influence an organization's time of adoption while organizational age does not impact the time of adoption. In addition, we found that sponsorship and availability of information indirectly affect time of adoption by mitigating the perceived risk of early adoption.

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