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Comcast, Cox Business Gear Up For World IPv6 Day

Cox Business said several of its customers will participate in the first global-scale test of the next-generation Internet protocol during World IPv6 Day, this Wednesday, June 8, while Comcast expanded its "dual-stack" trials to four additional metro areas ahead of the event.

World IPv6 Day, coordinated by the non-profit Internet Society (ISOC), is a global "test flight" to encourage adoption of IPv6 Internet addresses as well as identify where the weak spots are.

Internet service providers and their customers will need to start using IPv6 as soon as early 2012 because the approximately 4.29 billion IPv4 addresses have been allocated to the regional registries. IPv6 provides a very, very large number of addresses: approximately 340 trillion trillion trillion, or 2 to the 128th power.

Other Internet service providers planning to participate in World IPv6 Day include Time Warner Cable, Charter Communications, Bright House Networks, GCI and Verizon.

Leading up to Thursday's event, Comcast has expanded DOCSIS-based IPv6 "native dual stack" trials to select locations in San Francisco, Philadelphia, Chicago and Miramar, Fla., John Brzozowski, Comcast distinguished engineer and chief architect for IPv6, wrote in a blog post.

The dual-stack operation lets participating customers have access to content and services natively over both IPv6 and IPv4 addresses. Comcast this January initiated its first a dual-stack trial with customers in Colorado, using cable modem termination systems and cable modems from Arris as well as home networking equipment from Apple. In the latest round of expansion, Comcast has added home networking equipment from D-Link.

"The successful expansion of our trials is a clear indicator of Comcast's and the cable industry's readiness for IPv6," Brzozowski wrote.

Cox Business customers participating in World IPv6 Day include the American Registry for Internet Numbers, FastQ Communications, InsureMyTrip, Jefferson Lab, Kwikom, Login and Promptlink. These businesses will access multiple Web sites running IPv6 on World IPv6 Day and monitor interoperability with their internal systems.

Cox last fall began conducting active IPv6 trials with select business customers, exchanging native IPv4 and IPv6 traffic in dual-stack implementations. The MSO said it is now conducting residential service trials with employees. 

"We are testing IPv6 with Cox Business customers early to ensure that they can provide a consistent experience to their end users," Cox senior director of architecture Jeff Finkelstein said in a statement. "Cox's dual-stack IPv6 deployment allows customers the ability to continue leveraging current IPv4 capability while incrementally adding the IPv6 support required for the next generation of network devices and applications."