Another of the main broadband providers in the UK is getting ready to “go” IPv6.
This time, it is Sky Broadband and their first step towards widespread deployment is to roll out a firmware update to their SkyHub SR101 and SR102 modem routers which are the latest modem routers they are offering for their consumer-facing Internet service. Most likely, this may be a “blind update” where customers don’t need to do anything to facilitate the update being put in place.
Like all other ISPs, Sky is running out of its stockpile of IPv4 IP addresses which will make life increasingly difficult when it comes to provisioning Internet service to newer customers. This is a similar analogy either with phone numbers as people and businesses sign up for standard telephony services or add functionality to their existing telephony services, or with motor vehicle registration numbers (license-plate numbers) in a jurisdiction as people register new vehicles or move and garage their vehicles into that jurisdiction. It may involve passing IPv4 public IP addresses around multiple customers or having to bite the bullet and go IPv6.
The main questions that could be raised with this deployment is whether it will primarily be a dual-stack deployment and also whether routing between IPv6 and IPv4 addresses will take place within the router or host equipment at Sky’s backend.
For Internet service providers and Internet content hosts that serve consumers and small businesses, the reality of having to go IPv6 will be coming upon them all and they will have to factor this in soon. This will also have to apply to any “carrier-supplied” customer-premises equipment which will have to support IPv6 either out-of-the-box or after a firmware update.