This year I was finally able to attend in person, which took place last Monday 31 October at the offices of the IET in London, having only being able to watch the videos the previous two years. There were many interesting talks; in the morning the meeting was mainly talks from some of the major UK ISPs on how their rollouts are going.
Good news this year is that both Sky are fully rolled out now (although this had already been announced) and BT Consumer are fully rolled out on lines connected to their 21CN network (which includes most ADSL and all VDSL2 (FTTC)/FTTP lines), but not people still on 20CN ADSL lines provided via the IPStream product. (I’d be very surprised if they do get enabled, as it’s likely this kit will be replaced with either 21CN ADSL or some form FTTx before too long anyway). In the case of BT’s own CPE, only the BT Smart Hub 6 (aka Home Hub 6) has IPv6-capable firmware, with upgrades for the HH5 and HH4 promised for early next year, but Neil McRae did say in his presentation that any third-party IPv6-enabled CPE should work (as long as the firmware’s been written correctly of course!)
With Sky and BT now rolled out, this means that IPv6 should be available to around 50% of the residential market now, and in use by an increasing number. Given that a large majority of users on the Big 4 ISPs use the CPE supplied by the ISP, I imagine this will mean a big upsurge in usage once the Home Hub 4 and 5 firmware is completed.
A big disappointment (but not really a surprise) was the lack of presentation by Virgin Media, who did manage to put out some sort of announcement a few days after the event, but full of marketing guff that didn’t really mean that much. As with most things Virgin Media, I’ll believe it when I see it.
EE did an informative presentation on their IPv6 rollout, which is also now done and is enabled for new customers who are using qualifying phones (which apparently doesn’t include mine, and it’s not even that old!), including a description of how their IPv6-capable APNs work. The slides are worth a read.
The other non-surprise was lack of any news from TalkTalk’s retail ISP or the other three mobile companies O2, Vodafone and Three, although you’d hope with the announcements above that someone is at least working on it.
In the afternoon, Sky also made an additional presentation which gave some the low-level details on how their IPv6 deployment worked which I found quite interesting, along with Imperial College who did a detailed talk on their IPv6 infrastructure which has been in use since 2003 (even longer than mine!), and Microsoft and LinkedIn also gave talks on their rollouts, and the BBC gave a quick update on where they had got to (although not too much encouraging news on that front for people who want iPlayerv6)
All in all, I found the day quite interesting and you can view a full list of the talks and view the presentation slides at http://www.ipv6.org.uk and the videos will be posted online in the near future, hopefully.