IPv6 is live

WORLD IPV6 LAUNCH is 6 June 2012 – The Future is ForeverLast year on World IPv6 day, major content providers such as Google, Facebook, Yahoo!, and the large CDNs offered their content over IPv6 for a 24-hour trial. The goal was to motivate others to enable IPv6 and highlight any issues. This was to ensure a successful transition to IPv6 as IPv4 addresses run out.

It went well and this year World IPv6 Launch (June 6 2012) sees major content providers and ISPs permanently enabling IPv6 on their networks. This should attract publicity which will hopefully raise awareness and increase adoption.

We announced our plans back in 2011 and have run a dual-stack (both IPv4 and IPv6) network since. As you’ll see in our routing statistics, our presence on IPv6 is far greater than in IPv4, reaching 63% of the IPv6 Internet directly through peers, versus 22% on IPv4. This is perhaps slightly artificial as so many commodity ISPs are yet to do anything and some (who shall remain nameless) are still questioning the need!

This web site and our Customer Portal are also fully IPv6 enabled so if you are using IPv6 on your own network, you’ll be accessing them over IPv6.

Customers are encouraged to request IPv6 assignments for their own access services or hosted equipment too! Whilst IPv4 space is in short supply we have plenty for our purposes, but taking comfort from that misses the point somewhat. We are not far away from the point where some properties will only be available on IPv6 because IPv4 is unavailable. It is also highly likely (and planned in some quarters) that commodity ISPs will impose Carrier Grade NAT on customers (i.e. share their IPv4 addresses amongst multiple customers) as they do not have enough – some are implementing this now. In short, IPv4 will be with us for many many years to come but IPv6 support is essential and should be embraced ASAP as the IPv4 experience will deteriorate from here in one way or another.

We are yet to IPv6 enable our voice services but continue to have IPv6 test VoIP networks running over Simwood. This is next on our horizon but quite a complicated one to crack. We will enable IPv6 as part of an ongoing redesign of our SIP architecture although given the lack of IPv6 support on SIP equipment, expect the take-up and demand to be slow. That said, given the plentiful supply of IP addresses and the potential absence of NAT, VoIP is one of the application that will benefit most from IPv6!