Telstra has confirmed they’ve begun rolling out support for IPv6, opting to support a “dual stack” setup which will allow IPv4 devices to continue to work on their network.
Created because of the dwindling supply of IPv4 addresses, IPv6 was first introduced in 1998 but only more recently became more crucial when the last block of IPv4 addresses were handed out. This is in part thanks to the explosion of Internet-enabled devices and web-connected households across the globe, which has left more people than ever needing an IP address.
While there’s still a number of IPv4 addresses left which will last a while, other internet service providers including Internode and iiNet have lead the charge in Australia supporting the next-generation IPv6 standard. Telstra too, has at last revealed they have now also begun adding support for IPv6, although it’s not yet available for consumers.
The telco confirmed in a statement today that the rollout began “recently” and will see the company use a dual-stack setup to enable IPv4 and IPv6 to work together, maintaining support for older devices that don’t work with the newer IPv6 standard.
“We are progressively introducing IPv6 functionality initially for some of Telstra’s enterprise and wholesale products, through dual-stacking IPv4 and IPv6,” a spokesperson told iTech Report.
“This will continue for other products including consumer and mobile offerings as IPv6 industry standards and network and consumer equipment implementations continue to mature.”
While at first IPv6 support will only be available for enterprise and wholesale customers, Telstra says that customers are encouraged to invest in IPv6-supported equipment in a bid to “future proof” themselves for the eventual “phased introduction” changeover.
The dual-stack environment will be maintained, Telstra says, until widespread adoption of devices which support IPv6 occurs, which they warn “may take several years” to occur.
In the meantime, the company says they’ll continue to “carefully manage” the IPv4 addresses within their allocated block using “network enhancements to maximise addressing efficiency”.
It’s also unclear what impact the forthcoming deal with the NBN Co which will utilise Telstra infrastructure for the nation-wide deployment of the National Broadband Network (NBN) has had on Telstra’s roll-out of IPv6 support.
The news comes on the World IPv6 Day, which celebrates the new standard and encourages large companies and ISP’s alike to switch-over to the IPv6 standard for 24 hours. Google, Facebook, Yahoo and iiNet are just a number of companies taking part in the event.