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Why Should Radio Broadcasters Care About IPv6?

In an interesting post on Radio World titled “Should I Be Concerned About IPv6?” Wayne Pecana explains why radio broadcasters should be thinking about IPv6.  After explaining the basics of IPv4 address exhaustion, he points out that many of the consumers of online content may increasingly come from IPv6-only networks, particularly coming out of the Asia-Pacific region.  However, his key point for broadcasters is this one (my emphasis added):

Technical solutions exist to accommodate the mixed world of IPv6-only consumers and IPv4-only content. Industry solutions include IPv6-IPv4 Network Address Translation (NAT) and, in many practical implementations, double NAT processes occur through solutions such as Carrier-Grade Nat (CGN).

For some types of Internet content, such as basic Web page content, these solutions are viable. However, a major drawback of any solution is the detriment to Quality of Service (QoS) factors that affect real-time media content, such as streaming audio and video content provided by the broadcaster or similar audio and/or video content providers.

This is an incredibly critical point.  With media and communications that needs to be viewed or listened to in “real-time,” you want to reduce as much as possible any kind of network delays or latency so that the user has the best possible viewing or listening experience.    By their very nature, large-scale NAT (LSN) / carrier-grade NAT (CGN) solutions introduce an extra layer of translation and in so doing introduce added latency.

Wayne Pecana goes on to explain how broadcasters should look at IPv6-enabling their content servers so that they are natively accessible over IPv6.  He recommends:

Enable your “outward-facing” network services in an IPv4-IPv6 “dual-stack” mode, which allows your content to be delivered in a native format to both IPv4 and IPv6 “eyeballs and ears,” and lets you provide the best possible listening or viewing experience for your content consumers.

It’s excellent advice and we’re glad to see this kind of message going out to broadcasters.  Pecana also encourages broadcasters to consider attending an “IPv6 for Broadcasters” webinar that is scheduled for July 11, 2012.

P.S. We’d also encourage broadcasters to look at our general IPv6 resources and our IPv6 information for content providers.