With this release, IPv6 is now available to all customers on an opt-in basis, backed by Internode’s customer support to assist with any issues.
Internet Protocol (IP) addresses are the numerical addresses used to identify every device connected to the Internet. Global allocations of IPv4 addresses are starting to run out this year. Although its replacement, IPv6, is a mature protocol, IPv6 deployment has been limited to date.
IPv4 is a 32-bit protocol that allows a total of about 4.3 billion Internet addresses. IPv6 is a 128-bit protocol, which creates a gobsmackingly large address space containing 340 undecillion IP addresses - that’s 340 followed by 36 zeroes. Put in personal terms, ’more than enough’.
Internode, the first broadband company in Australia to offer IPv6 as a standard service, leads Australia in its adoption of IPv6. The company, which has worked on IPv6 adoption for several years, launched a public trial for its ADSL-based customers in November 2009. Internode’s IPv6 service is available to both its ADSL and its NBN (National Broadband Network) customers.
Internode managing director Simon Hackett said IPv6 was now available to any customer who wanted it. "Done right, most customers won’t notice the change to IPv6," he said.
"Internode has made sure our customers won't be disadvantaged by this large, significant change 'under the hood' of the Internet. We’ve been deploying and testing IPv6 since 2008 and our experience with it is now unrivalled in Australia. We have also worked with many major router vendors to ensure that, at this point, all the routers sold by Internode now support native dual stack IPv6."
"Internode is now examining the best ways to support further IPv6-related facilities such as customer controlled IPv6 DNS management and customer-specified DNS record assignment. Meantime, the fundamentals of our IPv6 service - the native, dual stack IPv6 service itself - is a tested, stable and supported part of the national Internode service as of today."
"In the future, we'll move to an opt-out basis, but for now, any interested customer can activate IPv6 on their broadband service and be assigned a stable /56 prefix of IPv6 addresses."
IPv6 addresses comprise two parts - the 64-bit network prefix and the 64-bit host address, referring to the 'local' network. The 64-bit host address means that even the smallest network address assignment has an address space which is much larger than the total number of addresses on today's Internet.
Internode will provide a /56 static IPv6 assignment, allowing 256 LAN segments, to any customer as a matter of course. If a business network administrator wants a larger /48 prefix assignment instead (allowing 65,536 LAN segments), they simply need to justify that requirement to Internode in order to be allocated that larger prefix.
With its abundance of addresses, IPv6 enables Internode to ensure all customers benefit from static assignments in a way that was not possible with IPv4. Customers who have obtained portable address blocks from other sources, such as APNIC, can have those blocks routed to their Internode IPv6 broadband services upon request.