It’s been a while since I’ve posted about this topic. A few years ago, I was active in a number of topics asking that Sonos bring IPv6 support to their devices. I believe it was another capability that forced their hand, most likely Airplay 2 (because Apple has a big thing about IPv6), to add IPv6 support. And all is great with that… except that I can’t play content via IPv6. Sonos needs to now update the mechanism in their speakers that actually receives and plays the audio content so that it is able to connect to services and servers using this great new protocol that’s only been active around the internet for over 13 years now.
Why now? Because yet another regional internet registry - RIPE, the registry that handles Europe - has fully depleted their IPv4 address pool. They join APNIC (Asia-Pacific), ARIN (North America), and LACNIC (Latin America) which have all also exhausted their IPv4 address pools and can only provide additional allocations based on unused addresses they can recover. It is expected that AfriNIC (Africa) will exhaust their IPv4 pool next year.
Is this critical? No, not at this time. They’ll be able to recover IPv4 addresses from companies that may no longer be in business, or have returned addresses they don’t need to the registry. But RIPE will now have a wait list for companies that want more IPv4 addresses. And I’m sure a secondary market will also develop, as it has in the US, for companies to directly deal with each other for available IPv4 addresses, rather than wait on the waiting list. But as time goes on, ISPs won’t be able to get additional IPv4 addresses, and will resort to a variety of other means of retaining IPv4, like Carrier Grade NAT, routing IPv4 over IPv6, and other transition mechanisms.
But while IPv4 isn’t going anywhere in the immediate future, it’s yet another sign that its demise draws nearer, as more and more sites, services, and providers make IPv6 access available to their users/customers. Yes, they’re also still available via IPv4, but as more and more of the internet becomes active on IPv6, IPv4 becomes a second class citizen, as routers send more and more IPv6 data instead.
Come on Sonos… you’ve already taken the big step of adding support for IPv6 to your devices. Now allow it to be used to access content, and you’ll be ready to go for decades of internet to come!