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ISP Entanet Hails 4 Stars in RIPEs IPv6 Readiness Test for UK Internet Providers

Posted: 27th Jul, 2011 By: MarkJ
isp entanet broadband ukCommunications and networking provider Entanet claims to have ranked in the top 12% of UK broadband ISPs (Local Internet Registries) with RIPE's latest four star rating for IPv6 readiness. Entanet is listed amongst only 15 ISPs categorised as 'LARGE' that have been awarded four-star status.

Entanet is by no means unique in this list, though they do aim to lead the field, and many other UK based providers have also achieved a top rating. For example - TalkTalk is listed under EXTRA LARGE, while both telecoms giant BT and minnow AAISP are listed under the same MEDIUM category. Many more ISPs are also present.
RIPE's Rating Index
LIRs with 4-star ipv6 RIPEness in United Kingdom
Crucially this rating system doesn't guarantee that any of the listed ISPs actually has a "working ipv6 setup". Entanet says its core network has been set up for the last 5 years and any customer can have IPv6 on request. On the other hand, an LIR that has one star only (that means it has an IPv6 allocation but does not fulfil any of the other criteria) may very well have a functioning IPv6 network but "just hasn't done very good housekeeping.. yet".

An Entanet Spokesperson said:

Alarmingly, the statistics also reveal the fact that 56% of UK ISPs have no IPv6 compatibility at all, based on analysis of 863 LIRs (Local Internet Registries). This is an issue that Entanet has repeatedly warned against, calling on UK ISPs to adopt IPv6 more urgently as the UK speeds towards the complete consumption of any remaining IPv4 addresses.

This often requires investment in new and expensive equipment. Despite this being a cost that every network operator is going to have to bare eventually, as complete consumption of IPv4 is inevitable, many are using lack of customer demand for IPv6 as their excuse for putting off this investment.

In case any of you have been living under a rock for the past 12 months. An IPv4 address is assigned to your computer each time you go online (e.g. 85.23.56.198) but, with a maximum of approximately 4.3 billion addresses, they're almost completely exhausted and thus ISPs need to begin adopting IPv6 as a replacement.

Sadly IPv4 and IPv6 are not directly compatible and as a result most ISPs will need to install costly dual-stack systems in order to manage both at the same time. This technically tedious process is also exasperated by a lack of IPv6 support in other sectors, such as the hardware (e.g. consumer broadband routers) market.
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