The internet’s regional registries are running out of IPv4 addresses, so have New Zealand retail service providers made the shift to the new internet protocol IPv6?
IPv6 Taskforce member Dean Pemberton says that of five regional registries, the Asia Pacific registry has the least amount of IPv4 addresses left, with less than a block (referred to by the industry as an “/8”, which consists of around 16 million addresses) remaining. Asia Pacific is followed closely by Europe, and the North American and Central/South American regions are on track to run out of IPv4 addresses next year. Only the African region has a few more years of IPv4 availability.
The Taskforce, which was formed by the then Ministry of Economic Development and InternetNZ in 2008 to promote the shift to IPv6, has wound down its activities and is now in “reactive mode only”, says Taskforce chair Murray Milner.
“We are also maintaining some survey and metric capability, as well as the website in order to continue a visual presence,” says Milner. “The funding will eventually run out under this model, at which time the Taskforce would either need to be re-invigorated or close down completely. I am currently not sure when this situation would arise, but it was originally assumed that it would operate to at least the end of this year and possibly into 2014.”
As the available IPv4 addresses dry up and support for migration dwindles, how prepared is the telecommunications industry?
Three years ago Computerworld surveyed the country’s top RSPs and discovered that while many were well on the way to adopting the IPv6 in their networks, none had public facing websites that were IPv6 enabled. This month we revisited the survey and received responses from eight RSPs (see below).
New Zealand Retail Service Provider IPv6 readiness as of May 2013
|Retail Service Provider||As an RSP do you have your own facilities for IPv6 and are you using a transit carrier, or peering with other carriers which have IPv6 native capability?||Are you able to provide IPv6 on your existing products?||Are your public facing websites IPv6 enabled?|
|CallPlus/Slingshot||Yes||No, but this is less than 12 months away.||Not, but in the planning stage and should be completed in next 12 months.|
|InspireNet||Yes||Yes, but in a development/testing manner.||Has multiple customer webhosting services that support IPv6, but has not enabled IPv6 on its own website.|
|Orcon||Yes||Can supply IPv6 to business customers on request. In residential space, is ready for IPv6 network wise, but needs to make change to billing system before it can offer IPv6 allocations.||Not yet, but being worked on.|
|Snap Internet||Yes||Yes, since Since 2011 all Snap broadband customers have been automatically provided a /48 IPv6 network. If our customers have an IPv6 their residential gateways (RGW) can support it.||Yes, since 2009.|
|Telecom||Didn’t address questions directly, see response below.|
|Vodafone||Yes||Some business and enterprise services are provided in IPv6. Other products will be developed and launched to meet anticipated customer demand.||No|
|Woosh||Yes||Yes, customers can obtain an IPv6 address, but no other services have IPv6.||No|
Telecom didn’t directly answer questions, but instead provided the following response:
“It is difficult for us to answer the questions directly with a yes or a no, as different parts of the business are at different stages, but I can tell you that we have a comprehensive roadmap for the adoption of IPv6 across the business.
“It is probably fair to say that we’re most advanced in the enterprise space, where we believe the need for IPv6 is likely to be more pressing than in the consumer space. For instance, we are already providing IPv6 connectivity to Gen-i clients that wish to make the move today, our core network and international links are all IPv6 compatible.
“We are actively planning for the IPv6 transition in our SME, Home Business, and Consumer segments and are confident that these parts of the business will transition to IPv6 in a timely manner.”