BT Confirms Plans For 2016 IPv6 Rollout

Juniper Networks

BT will look to migrate users from IPv4 to IPv6 by the end of the 2016-17 financial year

BT has confirmed it will start migrating its broadband customers from IPv4 to IPv6 later this year, with a view to deploying the standard across half its national network by April and 100 percent by December 2016.

IPv4 addresses have been used since the start of the Internet, but all 4.3 billion have now been used. ISPs still have a number of these addresses to assign to users, but stocks will eventually expire, meaning most providers have plans to move to IPv6 in the near future.

IPv6 transition

IPv4, IPv6 © Grasko Shutterstock 2012IPv6 technology has actually been around for 17 years, but the transition has been slow due to a lack of compatible hardware, indifference among governments and a lack of desire among ISPs to purchase networking equipment capable of supporting both IPv4 and IPv6.

BT has been testing out IPv6 since July, but its plans have remained a mystery until it made a presentation at the second UK IPv6 Council Meeting earlier this week, as reported by ISPreview.

“We are currently completing trials of IPv6 with a small group of BT employees, before moving on to trials with customers,” a company spokesperson told TechWeekEurope. “BT has a strategy to include IPv6 for its customers in good time and ensure that the transition from IPv4 to IPv6 is seamless. At the moment, customers can experience everything the internet can offer with IPv4.

“Depending on the results of trials with customers, we would aim to enable the network for IPv6 during the 2016/17 financial year. We expect customers with a Home Hub 5 will be able to take advantage of this soon afterwards, and are looking at options to enable customers with a Home Hub 4 to also benefit. We will provide more details closer to the time.”

Sky is also trialling IPv6 with one million staff and customers using its Sky Hub 1 and 2 routers with a view to adding more routers to the programme.

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