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BT to rollout IPv6 network – what it means for you

BT has revealed it is enabling IPv6 (internet protocol version six) on its home broadband network, starting this autumn.

The company is bringing the new IP standard to users of its Smart Hub customers, starting this year. Home Hub 5 users will get it in early 2017.

According to an ISPreview report, users of the Home Hub 6 are already seeing IPv6 connectivity via a firmware update.

BT is the UK’s second major ISP to jump in on the essential transition away from the IPv4 standard.

Sky is already sending dual-stack (compatible with both IPv4 and IPv6 addresses) connectivity to 80 per cent of its homes in the UK.

The transition from IPv4 to IPv6 is required as we’re currently running out of available IP addresses for the former.

Related: How to complain to Ofcom about mobile and broadband networks

While the IPv4 32-bit standard offers 4 billion addresses, IPv6’s 128-bit address base offers the capacity for practically limitless IP addresses.

The switch is important because plans are afoot to move everything over to IPv6, meaning those ISPs that aren’t on board will be left behind.

Today’s move is great news for BT customers who won’t need to upgrade their equipment and thanks to the firmware upgrade won’t even notice the transition.

The UK is a little bit behind the US on this front, with recent reports revealing 50% of web traffic from mobile networks is accounted for by  IPv6.

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