Plans nationwide roll-out in 2012
US Internet service provider (ISP) Comcast has started putting some customers on the Internet’s new IP Version, IPv6.
Earlier this year, it was revealed that the older version is running out of stock for addresses. The IPv4 has about four billion numbers available, which is running out fast, while the new version IPv6 has almost unlimited numbers in stock.
However, the transition has some technical bottlenecks. In a trial in California, Comcast is switching those customers on to the new platform who have both IPv4 and IPv6 hardware. At present, availability of affordable IPv6 hardware is low it has yet not become popular.
The company said that the first phase will support certain types of directly connected CPE, where a single computer is connected directly to a cable modem. Subsequent phases in 2011 and 2012 will support home gateway devices and variable length prefixes, according to Comcast.
Comcast aims to overcome the problem with the trials, it has been carrying out for over a year.
Comcast Internet Systems vice-president Jason Livingood said that the company is now the first large ISP in North America to start deploying IPv6.
Livingood added, "After so many years [six years] of challenging preparatory work, significant technology investment, internal skills development, and close collaboration with our technology partners, I am incredibly pleased to announce that we’ve achieved another critical milestone in our transition to IPv6 — we have started the pilot market deployment of IPv6 to customers in selected markets!"
The company said that it is planning to go for a nationwide deployment next year.
Comcast chief architect for IPv6 John Brzozowski said, "As we evolve our deployment for nationwide rollout in 2012, we plan to update our IPv6 allocations to provide shorter prefixes based on the type of service, devices in use by our subscribers, and the prefix size their device requests.
"We believe that offering a range of shorter prefix lengths (more IPv6 address space) is important to our customers, as this can enable multiple networks."