Telstra to roll out IPv6 to all customers

Chief technology officer confirms telco will take a dual-stack approach

Telstra has confirmed that it will be set to roll out Internet Protocol Version 6 (IPv6) later this year to all customers following impending IPv6 trials for its enterprise customers.

Speaking at the Security 2011 conference in Sydney, Telstra's chief technology officer, Dr Hugh Bradlow, said that while he personally thought IPv6 was the "most overhyped" technology in history, the telco was progressively introducing IPv6 and taking a dual-stack approach, offering both IPv4 and IPv6 capability to customers.

In-depth: IPv6 technology guide.

"We are going for a dual stack approach because we can't control the content that people want to access", he said

"Content providers will go at their own pace in terms of switching over to IPv6 so what will happen [is that] our devices and networks will support either IPv4 access or IPv6.

"If you take, for example, a Windows PC it will try to access IPv4 addresses and if it can't access that it will try for IPv6."

Taking the dual-stack approach meant that the company could address the transition to IPv6 "seamlessly" for the customer. Telstra also has plans to ramp up IPv6 takeup if it runs out of IPv4 private addresses.

According to Bradlow, Australia was not running out of IPv4 private addresses, but he conceded that the company needed to prepare for the changeover to IPv6.

"People behave as if IPv6 is a revolution but it's really just a fix. It's important but will not change anything."

In July, a Telstra spokesperson confirmed to Computerworld Australia that it was set to commence IPv6 trials for its enterprise customers in coming months.

"Telstra operates a number of platforms against which we have a well developed, multi-year plan to integrate IPv6 end to end across our entire network," the spokesperson said.

Follow Hamish Barwick on Twitter: @HamishBarwick

Follow Computerworld Australia on Twitter: @ComputerworldAU

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