Internode tells its IPv6 story

By Campbell Gardiner

ANZIA award-winning service provider Internode today regaled IPv6 Summit attendees with a potted history of its IPv6 journey – a technical tale spanning more than ten years.

The company’s co-founder Simon Hackett says it took its first tentative steps in 2004, obtaining an IPv6 address allocation. It then “connected up” and started learning how IPv6 worked.

Fast forward four years and, in 2008, Internode had dual-stacked its network and began offering native IPv6 access to its fixed line, ethernet port and data centre co-location customers.

In 2009, the company launched an opt-in technical IPv6 trial for its ADSL customers. Hackett admits that, at this time, most people shrugged and carried on as usual. But there were a small number of customers that did enable IPv6 and started their own learning process. By late-2010, hundreds of Internode customers were using IPv6.

Meanwhile, says Hackett, enabling of IPv6 was quietly happening in PCs and laptops. The same thing thing started happening in the smartphone sphere, with OS’s updated for IPv6 and enabled by default.

In January 2012 Internode enabled IPv6 by default through all broadband access paths for all new customers. In the same timeframe, all routers sold by Internode had working IPv6 stacks. And by June 2012 all new routers shipped by the company had IPv6 switched on by default.

Presently, all new Internode ADSL2+ connections are IPv6 enabled, as are its new NBN connections.

Hackett credits the recent World IPv6 Launch as a catalyst for IPv6 growth and points to two factors that will drive further uptake – mobile Internet access in developing markets with rapidly rising customer counts and operators realising that IPv6-only is a lower cost path than using carrier-grade NAT.

The cumulative effect of Internode’s IPv6 activity has seen the adoption rate among its customers rise significantly. The percentage of its customers routing IPv6 packets has risen from 0.1% in late-2010, to 2% in June, to 5% today.

While Hackett notes that the majority of its customers don’t care about IP addressing, from a business point of view, the enormity of the fact that IPv4 numbers have run out is now the prime motivator.

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