showing ip switch box full of cables
2degrees IP addresses are running low. It’s a global problem.

If you have a 2degrees internet customer in New Zealand and have been having a few issues with your internet lately, you are not alone. I’ll try to break this down so you understand what has happened and what to do.

The frustrating thing about your internet connection issues is they are so subtle you probably didn’t even notice it was your internet. You just thought things were being funky.

I didn’t get an email to tell me about this, which may have happened but I’ve searched my emails and nothing shows relating to updates to the network. If this is the case, poor form 2 degrees, please try harder.

Some of the symptoms for your 2degrees broadband issues in the last couple of weeks might include:

  • ssh terminal connections disconnecting (for you web developers out there)
  • smart assistants like Amazon Alexa not listening the first time, and hit and miss in general
  • control hubs like the Harmony Hub not staying connected and not responding quickly
  • IP security cameras not being too stable
  • Other smart devices not being stable – like our smart garage door opener doesn’t know if it’s coming or going – it keeps connecting, then disconnecting, then connecting, then disconnecting etc.
  • VPN connections to servers a struggle
  • Getting OTP or 2FA messages sent through

Why is this happening?

For about 15 years internet geeks in the world have been predicting a global shortage of IP addresses which will result in the world order collapsing and a plague of frogs and locusts. While they were a bit over the top (OTT for the cool kids), they were effectively correct, there is a limit of IP addresses in the world. IP addresses

So, really? Does the world have a limited number of IP addresses that it can use? Yes, IPv4 that is. Some other smart people came up with IPv6 addresses which increases the world supply dramatically but IPv4 are still used, a lot and we’re running out.

Not to bore you but just to finish up on the geek bit, and then we’ll get on to the solution.

The IPv4 addresses were started in use about 1983, which is older than most Millenials playing Minecraft and fortnight, and look something like this:

172.132.2.4

Familiar? Right, we IPv6 addresses look something like this:

2013:0db8:0000:0000:0000:ff00:0032:7854

As you can imagine from the numbers, IPv6 can have a lot more applications.

Essentially 2degrees are running low on IP addresses and have had to change their network to set up to use CGNAT.

Most broadband customers with 2degrees use a dynamic IP address. These are the ones affected. If you have a fixed IP you should not have noticed any changes.

CGNAT seemingly makes it hard for devices on your network to send fixed outbound traffic, and other devices (likes smart home devices) to send call and response information back and forth.

So..can you tell me how I fix it?

Sorry if this is a disappointment, but the solution is to contact 2degrees and ask them to sort it out. It might mean you have to get a fixed IP from them.

You can contact them on 0800 022 022, select option 9.

It seems a little counter-intuitive to switch to CGNAT and then find you have to give a huge number of fixed IP addresses to customers due to the messed up connectivity issues they might have but, perhaps the good outweighs the bad here.

Who am I to judge? Actually…don’t answer that.

Questions, comments, moans or quibbles? Put them in the comments below and I’ll unpack it for you.

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