IPv6 is a looming upgrade to IPv4, the Internet’s main communications protocol.
IPv6 is needed because IPv4 is running out of addresses to connect new users and new devices to the Internet. IPv6 solves this problem with a vastly expanded address space, but it is not backwards-compatible with IPv4. So ISPs have to upgrade their routing, edge, security, network management and customer premises equipment (CPE) to support IPv6. The alternative is for carriers to translate between IPv4 and IPv6 addresses, which adds latency and cost to network operations.
Our entire network will support IPv6 by the end of Q1 2013.
In a somewhat controversial move, Smartcom is giving each of its broadband networking users what’s called a /64 block of IPv6 addresses, which represents more than 18 quintillion IPv6 addresses or 18,446,744,073,709,551,616 to be exact. This is a massive amount of IP addresses given how long we have functioned in the address-constrained mode of IPv4.
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