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Heads up on Telstra's plans for moving from IPv4 and IPv6
As with any growing family, the internet now needs to move to a bigger ‘home’ in cyberspace to keep on growing as the number of people connecting continues to grow. For the past 30 years, Version 4 of the Internet Protocol (or IPv4) has been the basis or 'home' of the internet, allowing it to expand from a few university computers to the global network it is today.
But with only 4 billion IPv4 addresses available to uniquely identify connections in the internet, these addresses are expected to run out in the next couple of years. With hundreds of millions of people still to be connected, and the explosion of mobile data and telemetry devices the internet won’t be able to handle the demand for new addresses.
The new and larger home within the internet will be Internet Protocol Version 6 (IPv6) which has 380 billion, billion, billion, billion addresses – that's enough to allow every grain of sand on the planet to be connected to the internet.
So, the easiest explanation of the IP is that it’s simply a set of standards responsible for ensuring that data packets transmitted over the Internet are routed to their intended destinations.
Telstra has been working on this for a while and part of ourIPv6 strategy, involves using a ‘dual stack’ approach, which is like continuing to live in your old house while your new house is being built.
At this stage we’ve started supporting IPv6 for our Telstra Business, enterprise and government customers. In parallel we have work in progress developing IPv6 solutions for our Telstra Retail broadband and wireless customers.
Telstra’s IP Virtual Private Network (IP VPN) solutions are now capable of supporting IPv6. This means that Telstra’s medium and large business network customers join our enterprise, government and wholesale Internet customers in their ability to opt-into IPv6 connectivity.
We have a long-term roadmap for deploying IPv6 capability into our networks, and are pleased that many of our business customers can use this new service to support the transition of their corporate networks to IPv6. The deployment of IPv6 into Telstra’s network is an on-going program of work, and we’ll make this available for other broadband services over time.
As stocks of IPv4 addresses diminish globally, we need to commence moving to the new addressing system. By dual stacking IPv4 and IPv6 in our network, customers can opt into IPv6 in their own time, and according to the lifecycle upgrade of their existing equipment. As mentioned earlier, in many ways it can be thought of as living in your old home while your new home is being built. When our customers are ready to make the move to IPv6 we’ll be there to help them.
Telstra will be working with individual business customers who have expressed an interest in moving to IPv6 to help them through that transition.
In coming years we expect that IPv6 will become the norm and customers will need to opt-out if they wish to use IPv4.
However in the early phases of the transition, we’ll be working directly with customers to support them as they make this change. We need to make this process especially smooth for our Retail consumer customers and will be testing IPv6 consumer solutions in the later months of this year and into the 2013.
Telstra is still one of the first Australasian network service providers to invest in scalable IPv6 capability across key Data and IP Solutions for the entire enterprise and consumer market.
Hope that provides some insight into our plans moving forward...
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Re: Heads up on Telstra's plans for moving from IPv4 and IPv6
1. Good work. It's nice to see this being thought about and the long term strategy is slowly being made public.
2. Sign me up. I've been disappointed that Telstra have been lagging behind some of their smaller competitors in this space for a little while now (but I appreciate the complexity of implementation and thus understand why you lag).
3. I'd like to be an early adopter. I'm good for it, you might say....
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