The BBC reports this morning that the internet cutover to IPv6 has started, as the internet's root servers are starting to have IPv6 addresses added to them. With just 14% of the IPv4 address pool remaining, there is some urgency to getting this started. The entire pool of addresses is expected to be exhausted by 2011.
The final paragraph of the BBC piece reads:
For a long while, he said, the effects on consumers would be minimal though eventually home routers may have to be upgraded or swapped so they can use the longer addresses.
Indeed. A whole generation of consumer routers will become obsolete at some point as the requirement to maintain a public WAN address goes away. In the mid term, however, I expect that consumer routers will speak IPv6 and v4 on the local net as a way to deal with the myriads of IPv4 devices already in existence. For example, all of the PCs on our home network run Windows Vista, which supports both versions of IP. However, our phones, networked media players, game consoles, and DVD players are all IPv4 devices. IPv6 will also be a boon for VoIP, as the thorny issues around NAT will simply… go away.
Count me in! Does anyone know where I can get an IPv6 capable home router?