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UPDATE Fibre Optic Broadband ISP Hyperoptic Starts UK IPv6 Rollout

Tuesday, December 5th, 2017 (1:17 pm) - Score 2,419
hyperoptic 1gbps broadband sign

Urban fibre optic ISP Hyperoptic, which is rolling out their 1Gbps Fibre-to-the-Building (FTTB/P) broadband network to parts of 28 UK cities and towns, has today confirmed that they’ve started the roll-out of Internet Protocol v6 (IPv6) and expect to finish the work in 2018.

At present Hyperoptic only has a limited pool of older IPv4 internet addresses and as a result they’ve been forced to use the somewhat undesirable method of Carrier Grade NAT (CGNAT) in order to squeeze a bit more life out of their address pool (here). This effectively means that customers are given a Dynamic IP address, which may be shared with other users, unless they pay an extra £5 per month to add a Static IP address.

The longer-term solution to this dilemma is of course to introduce the IPv6 standard, which has recently become much more important after the ISP secured an additional investment of £100m in order to help them expand their network coverage. Under the current plan Hyperoptic aims to go from 350,000 premises today to 500,000 by 2019, followed by 2 million in 2022 and possibly 5 million by around 2025 (here).

Happily Hyperoptic has today informed the UK IPv6 Council, which has been holding its annual meeting at the BT centre in London, that they’ve recently completed development and a pilot test of IPv6 capable CPE firmware for their broadband routers.

The rollout to customers at all “new builds” has now started (over 2,000+ subscribers have already been updated) and existing customers should all be enabled by the current “projected completion” of Q2 2018 (i.e. the end of June 2018 at the latest). We expect to update this story later with an official comment.

Mind you Hyperoptic will probably still need to keep their old IPv4 network running side-by-side (e.g. dual stack) with IPv6 for a few more years, until everybody else has updated and then IPv4 can finally be phased out. This is of course true for all ISPs.

UPDATE 6th Dec 2017

A spokesperson for Hyperoptic told ISPreview.co.uk, “We have indeed begun rolling out IPv6, not just to new builds but to existing developments too. The feedback from customers has been positive and we aim to complete the migration by the end of Q2 next year.”

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Mark Jackson

By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he is also the founder of ISPreview since 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on Twitter, , Facebook and Linkedin.

Leave a Comment
3 Responses
  1. wireless pacman

    I’ll be pushing up the roses before IPv4 gets phased out! 😉

  2. h42422

    What does this in practice mean to customers? Will it be completely transparent? Will something change? Is there a benefit of some kind (I understand the exhaustion of IPV4 pool, but to consumers)? Do internal networks switch to ipv6 as well or does their home router act as a v4-v6 converter?

    These are probably stupid questions, but I have never bothered to find out as ipv6 has not managed to materialise anywhere visible to me.

    • Packet

      Initially it means the customer now has access to the IPv6 Internet which will continue to grow without needing NAT within the ISP network. Customers will use IPv6 instead of IPv4 to communicate with sites that also have IPv6 connectivity. The internal LAN advertises a unique IPv6 prefix to hosts on the LAN. Hosts auto assign themselves an address (or addresses) on this LAN that they use to communicate with other hosts/servers on the Internet that have IPv6. There is no v4-v6 converter.

      In the longer term when IPv6 becomes more ubiquitous it will possible to use IPv6 instead of IPv4 in more and more situations.

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