Yesterday, Comcast demonstrated end-to-end network readiness for the transition to IPv6 addresses during the North American Network Operators 46th (NANOG46) meeting that is being held this week in Philadelphia.
Comcast also announced the availability of national high-speed IPv6 transit for wholesale customers, such as Web-hosting companies, that connect to Comcast’s fiber network to transfer data to their customers.
IPv6 is covered under CableLabs’ DOCSIS 3.0 specification and was designed to add additional addresses in advance of the current blocks of IPv4 addresses running out over the next few years.
Comcast, as well as Time Warner Cable, is motivated to jump on the IPv6 bandwagon because of the large number of IP devices the cable operator has on its networks.
Comcast said that it has been working with members of the Internet community to develop a transition strategy that will support the existing IPv4 addresses alongside of the IPv6 addresses that will be supported on a growing number of networks.
“Today’s demonstration is an important milestone in the testing and integration of IPv6 across Comcast’s network and systems in preparation for IPv6 addresses and content becoming more widely available in the future,” said John Leddy, senior vice president of network engineering at Comcast. “We are making our network fully IPv6-enabled so that Web-hosting companies, Internet sites and content providers that connect to Comcast’s Internet backbone to deliver content and services can do so using IPv4 and IPv6 protocols. It’s also an important step in being able to offer IPv6 address space in the future to Comcast customers who use our residential and business services.”
To prepare for the launch of its IPv6 wholesale transit capability, Comcast worked with several of its current wholesale transit customers, including IT hosting company The Planet and online video firm BitGravity.
“We host 17.8 million Web sites, so ensuring our customers have the IP space necessary for their critical content and applications is crucial,” said William Charnock, vice president of Technology for The Planet. “We are committed to providing our customers with IPv6-ready services before IPv4 depletion reaches a critical point. The widespread adoption of IPv6 depends on broadband leaders like Comcast enabling it on their networks.”