Google's YouTube online video service has announced support for the next-generation IPv6 in response to increased demand from users.
YouTube network engineer Lorenzo Colliti explained in a blog post that YouTube users have long requested IPv6 support.
"Since the very first announcement of ipv6.google.com, we have been committed to supporting IPv6 and have steadily added IPv6 support to more and more services," he wrote.
"We are proud to make YouTube available over IPv6 and to begin streaming videos from a select number of sites worldwide to our Google over IPv6 partners.
"With YouTube onboard, we now have a significant amount of content delivered on IPv6 and a real audience/traffic for it. This is a good day for YouTube, our users and for an open and accessible internet."
Commentators have long complained of the sluggish uptake of the new version of the protocol, despite the rapidly diminishing number of IPv4 addresses.
Just last month the Number Resource Organisation, which represents the world's five Regional Internet Registries, warned that less than 10 per cent of available IPv4 addresses now remain unallocated.
Colliti explained the benefits of moving to the new version. "IPv6 has a vastly larger address space (128-bit) and allows everyone to have an incredibly large number (2^64 or more) of personalised IP addresses for all their devices. Think of it as having a whole telephone exchange in your home," he wrote.
"Not having to share IP addresses is good for users because it means that better, more relevant information can be delivered whenever they want it. It's a win for openness and new applications because any device can connect directly to any other device on the internet."
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