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IPv6 is a step closer after the final IPv4 allocations are made
Tuesday 01 February 2011 14:33:06 by John Hunt

It was only back in December that the ISP industry was indicating that IP pools could run out in March, but this has occurred sooner (as some suspected) with the last two /8 IPv4 address blocks being allocated to APNIC by IANA today. This invokes the policy of allocation of the remaining IPv4 address space which will see the final five /8 blocks being allocated one each to the Regional Internet Registries (RIR's). Once the RIR's have exhausted their supply of IPv4 addresses, there will be no more IPv4 allocations made apart from through addresses that have been returned.

ISPs and network operators will need to speed up their adoption of IPv6 to ensure that new users and new websites continue to be reachable on the 'net. Most users should not need to make any specific changes to their setup. Transition technologies (such as Carrier Grade NAT (CGN)) are available that will allow service providers to hold off on changing users over to IPv6 but this is just a delay tactic to avoid investing in new equipment to support the change.

Some ISPs are already IPv6 enabled and provide users with IPv6 addresses. AAISP announced on monday that they would now be making an IPv6 allocation an automatic feature of their broadband services to new customers. No large broadband ISP has yet to enable IPv6 to customers in the UK, but French ISP Free have provided IPv6 for some time and various ISPs in Asia have also been deploying it.

Here at thinkbroadband we have supported IPv6 for some time, and recently made the change to dual-stack our website which means you can access natively through either IPv4 or IPv6. We also have an IPv6 speedtest and an IPv6 guide available which will provide more information on IPv6 along with an IPv6 readiness-tool to see if your broadband connection is IPv6 compatible.


Posted by AndrueC over 6 years ago
Don't panic, Mr Mainwaring, don't panic!

The 'net won't fall apart just yet.
Posted by dustofnations over 6 years ago
I suspect consumer router manufacturers will save up IPv6 "panic" as a fantastic marketing opportunity to sell new routers. This is despite the fact that Linux Kernel has had IPv6 since 1996. Cue the "upgrade to our IPv6 routers before it is too late" hyperbole.
Posted by mhc over 6 years ago
Watch the webcast at 14:30 GMT on Thursday 3rd
Posted by krazykizza over 6 years ago
It does make me laugh how there is a massive campaign to switch to digital television, but the aging IPv4 has been simply labeled as 'the internet' by the public. Many will not understand the difference opposed to V6. I suspect marketing departments and IT departments are quite worried too.
Posted by zyborg47 over 6 years ago
It is a good job we the end user don't have to do anything, because routers/modems that uses IPv6 are still few and far between and the ones that are available are expensive.

I was thinking of getting one as I need to get a new router soon, but not at the prices they are, waste of time at the moment as very few ISps will support them
Posted by GMAN99 over 6 years ago
zyborg47, ipv6 is just a router firmware upgrade you won't (or certainly shouldn't) need new hardware for ipv6
Posted by john (Favicon staff member) over 6 years ago
@krazykizza Switching to digital from analogue TV brings many new channels, and improved picture quality etc, but switching to IPv4 does not.

Besides digital switchover is a requirement as the analogue frequencies are being taken back by Ofcom. There isn't a similar IPv4 turn-off planned.
Posted by NorwichGadfly over 6 years ago
I have been told that my cable modem is not compatible with IPV6. Does that mean users like me have to replace their equipment to continue to use the internet ?
Posted by AndrueC over 6 years ago

This issue only affects new equipment or sites being added to the Internet.

It might mean that new users can't join in or that a new site isn't accessible to you. Quite honestly though if you're online right now and not an IT manager it will make little to no difference to you for years.
Posted by AndrueC over 6 years ago
(cont'd) putting it in telephone terms - it's like saying we're run out of numbers and we're going to have to start using letters.

Basically - we're going to have to start growing an alternative internet. Communication between the two is tricky but right now there's probably nothing you need or want that only exists in the new internet. It's going to be a long, long time before the current internet is finally switched off.

There are some issues around the two systems operating at the same time but I really think for a typical home user it's a none-issue.
Posted by GMAN99 over 6 years ago
Andrue, nothing is getting switched off, there's no new internet, its a case of migrating the networks (which people collectivity call the internet) to be able to use ipv6, its upgrades of firmware, re-addressing and tunnelling until everyone is off ipv4. No-one is building a new network. Its certainly not a simple task and will take a long time, that's why everyone has dragged their heals on this for so long, everyone has known we'd run out of addresses for well over 10yrs, no-one has bothered to do anything about it as its a bit of a ball ache.
Posted by AndrueC over 6 years ago
@GMAN:Yes I know. I was using simplistic terms to help someone less knowledgeable understand the situation. Nothing you said would have meant anything to NorwichGadfly. But describing it as 'growing another internet' is a nice none-technical explanation that's easier for the layman to understand.
Posted by NorwichGadfly over 6 years ago
Thank AndrueC and GMAN. I've always understood the reason why longer IP addresses would one day be required, it was just that I was surprised to have been informed on another forum that my cable modem could not be upgraded because, following the telephone analogy, when numbers were lengthened we didn't have to upgrade or change our handsets.
Posted by GMAN99 over 6 years ago
lol !

Its hard to understand why any equipment can't simply have a firmware upgrade (maybe your cable modem can't be remotely upgraded?) to allow ipv6 support.

If you want an even more simplistic term its like saying. Everyone in the world has to move from Vista to Win7 but... we'll keep supporting Vista until everyone is using Win7.

That's VERY simplistic but that's what it is.. the adoption of a new standard but we still need to keep the legacy stuff on until everyone is over. I expect ipv4 will be supported via some method for many many years to come its such a big change.
Posted by dsr48 over 6 years ago
@GMAN99 However, how many peripherals don't have drivers for Windows7 (and thus can't be used with Win7) because the manufacturers don't sell the kit any more. So equally, many 'modems' won't get firmware updates. It's a non-trivial task to produce an IPv6 stack so it won't be surprising if no-one produces one for many of the 'modems' currently in use.
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