Cox Communications is gearing up for the transition to IPv6 addresses by conducting trials with its Cox Business customers, and it plans on adding residential trials in the near future.

With IPv4 blocks of addresses set to expire soon, service providers have been working on their transitions to IPv6. Projections on when the IPv4 addresses run out vary, but Cox cited 2012 in its press release this morning.

While the migration to IPv6 has been in the works for years, the proliferation of IP devices on service providers' networks has caused a further drain on the remaining blocks of IPv4 addresses.

While IPv4 is reaching the end, IPv6 consists of 128 bits, compared with 32 bits in IPv4, resulting in approximately 340 undecillion IPv6 addresses versus the 4.2 billion available through IPv4.

"By migrating to IPv6, Cox is future-proofing its network, systems and products," said Jason Weil, principal architect at Cox. "As a digital voice, video, Internet and commercial service provider, we are committed to a seamless transition so our customers experience the same service in the future that they enjoy today. Cox's dual-stack IPv6 deployment allows customers the ability to continue leveraging their current IPv4 capability while incrementally adding the IPv6 support required for the next generation of network devices and applications."

Cox said its core network is now fully IPv6-compliant, and the company is transitioning the network edge and support infrastructure to meet customer demand.

As the nation's largest cable operator and ISP, Comcast has been at the forefront of cable operators' migration to IPv6. Comcast has also been conducting IPv6-based trials this year.

More information on the transition to IPv6 is available, as well as in a CED Webcast.