Sky's internet service provider (ISP) division has announced that 90 percent of its customers are now connected via Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6), even as rival BT's roll-out is just beginning.
Designed to address the exhaustion of the IPv4 protocol, replacing a 32-bit address space that has long been groaning under the weight of billions of internet-connected devices with a 128-bit address space boasting enough capacity to give every grain of sand on Earth an individual fixed IP address, IPv6 was formalised in 1998. Adoption, however, has been slow, with most public providers only now opting to add IPv6 support to their networks, nearly 20 years after the standard was completed.
Sky's ISP arm is, it must be said, somewhat ahead of the game here, having announced late yesterday that it had completed an IPv6 rollout for over 90 percent of its customer base. 'Technical leadership is part of Sky's DNA. We were the first carrier in the UK to introduce 100Gb/s fibre optic technology for our core network, and the first European adopter of Cisco's latest carrier grade routers, the NCS6000 series, bringing 8Tb/s technology to our super-core,
' boasted Mohamed Hammady, Sky's chief technical officer, of his company's progress. 'Now we’re enabling the network to IPv6, future-proofing millions of customers’ broadband connections. All these developments help us to support customers’ huge demand for viewing TV on multiple devices and demonstrate Sky’s commitment to giving customers the best broadband experience.
Sky claims it will have the few remaining customers upgraded to IPv6 by the end of the year, bar a five percent holdout. These users, Sky has said, are ineligible as they are either using their own routers, using outdated Sky-branded routers which lack native IPv6 support, or users of the Sky Connect product.
Each Sky user receives a /56 subnet, which allows for 256 individual networks within the home each receiving its own IPv6 address on the Sky network.