Moar IPv6!

So not long ago, I switched internet providers. IPv6 is something I had been using for a while, but my ISP was not providing me with this service. I was using a tunnel provider in order to get that connectivity. It worked well, but since the speeds that ISP was offering were much less (1/5 of the speed I could get from another provider), I switched providers. My new provider actually provides native IPv6 connectivity as well, so I get two big benefits out of this change!

But IPv6 is a two-way street. As a user, I need to have it available (which I do). But the services that I use and sites that I visit need to have it as well. A few major sites have been actively supporting this – Google (and all of the sites they own) and Facebook, being those major players. However, a cable TV network known for being on the cutting edge of technology in its coverage of sports is an unlikely sight in the migration to this new version of the internet protocol.

While enjoying a sporting event through their online viewing system, I also happened to check my router. I was surprised to see a very high speed connection running in IPv6. It’s now very clear to me that this network is providing their live content in IPv6, though their ads still seem to be coming from IPv4 servers.

The cable TV network that I’m talking about is ESPN, with their WatchESPN apps on various platforms. I’ve tried it on both my Apple TV and XBox One, and both use the IPv6 connectivity to stream the live event.

As an early adopter, I’m very happy to see that ESPN (and possibly, by extension, ABC and Disney, though I’ve not confirmed that either of them is using IPv6 yet) has become one of the first major streaming content providers to adopt the new version of IP, and hope that others join soon!

While I’m on the soapbox about IPv6, I’ll mention that almost 4.5% of the worldwide internet traffic to Google sites and services is over IPv6. They’ve had two consecutive weekends reaching 4.4%! Google started this year with about 2.8% of its traffic being over IPv6. Also, according to Cisco, 44 of the top 500 websites in the US (according to Alexa) are currently IPv6-enabled. At the beginning of the year, it was only 28 sites.

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