An IP address is basically a phone number for every device that is connected to the Internet. When the Internet was first created, no one ever thought that we would run out of numbers, but in the end it didn’t take long to get through all of the numbers available.
IPv6 (version six) is the new version of the ‘Internet Protocol’ that has trillions and trillions more possible addresses than the old version. Slight problem however – the old system and the new system don’t work together. So what we’re checking is if each ISP is set up for the change to IPv6, and whether they’re allowing customers to connect to it.
Why we care
Because the Internet should be open. We believe that IPv6 is vital to a truly open Internet. Current workarounds force users to share existing addresses, which is the equivalent of calling an operator to make a phone call. It also stifles innovation, because hosting a service is impossible without a unique address – much like a traditional business needing its own storefront.
Because the Internet should be for everyone. Internationally, ISPs and content providers are getting on board with IPv6. Major players such as Google, Facebook and Microsoft have said that IPv6 is their future. It’s important that New Zealanders have a way to enjoy these future innovations.
Why should you care?
If you want to use the Internet in the future it will be on IPv6. Although it is still possible to access most sites without IPv6, it won’t be long before it becomes essential. Many New Zealanders are already having to share old addresses with their neighbours, but we reckon that you deserve your own connection, not one that is shared or controlled by your ISP.
All Internet users in New Zealand must be able to seamlessly use IPv6. For ISPs, this means allowing customers to have IPv6 addresses. And for content providers, this means ensuring that all content is accessible by IPv6 connections.