The topic of Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6) and the depletion of IPv4 addresses has been a popular one of late. As the media continues to sensationalise the imminent end of the IPv4 address supply, more and more people are wondering what their ISPs will do to combat the shortage.
For those who are unfamiliar with the pending transition, IPv6 is an updated version of the Internet Protocol (IP) which will move the world away from its dependence on IPv4 – a depleting resource. Internet Protocol is essentially our road to the internet in its current state, not the internet itself. You could compare it to when our phone numbers suddenly got longer to cope with the demand, only this time we had the foresight to create something that won’t require changing for a very long time, if ever.
In reality, the “shortage” isn’t so dramatic. iiNet has enough IPv4 addresses to see its customers into the foreseeable future. When the time comes, and IPv4 becomes a thing of the past, transition technology will be available to ensure no one’s Internet experience is affected in anyway.
In fact, by that point in time, it’s likely that most of the Internet will be native to IPv6 so we won’t really need transitional technology – but it’ll be there just in case. With a number of large websites/content providers pushing forward to get their content IPv6-ready by June 8 this year (World IPV6 Day), it is hoped the extra attention will result in increased interest from the greater internet community.
iiNet have been running a number of in-house trials using IPv6 with our systems. It is expected that these trials will be expanded to include selected portions of our customer base within the next few months. Meanwhile our supply of IPv4 addresses will last us for a while yet so we’ll be going ahead as planned with a dual-stack approach (customers will be assigned both an IPv4 and IPv6 address).
While the media are having a field day with the news, we’re doing our best to tell people not to panic – and we really mean it. You probably won’t even notice the change when it happens.