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Cable Technology Feature Article

May 31, 2011

Cable Industry Gets Primed for IPv6 Deployment on World IPv6 Day

By Calvin Azuri, TMCnet Contributor

The Internet Society will be coordinating a 24-hour test of IPv6, the next-generation Internet Protocol, on World IPv6 Day, June 8, 2011. Entities from all over the world can test the compatibility of websites and associated networking technologies with IPv6.

IPv6 has been enabled to support the growing number of subscribers, devices, and services that need to connect to the Internet. Cable operators have made ready their networks for the transition to the new protocol and will be actively supporting the test on World IPv6 day.

Several cable operators including Bright House Networks, Charter, Comcast, Cox (News - Alert), GCI and Time Warner Cable, have decided to conduct limited subscriber tests of this new IPv6 Internet connection technology to gauge how subscribers will interact with their websites and those of Facebook, Google (News - Alert), Yahoo!, Akamai, Limelight Networks, which will also be enabling IPv6, in addition to IPv4, for 24 hours.

CableLabs, a technology development consortium started updating its specifications in 2004 to address IPv6 usage and has hosted several IPv6 forums, in an effort to find ways to enable a graceful transition to IPv6.

Following World IPv6 Day, the NCTA’s (News - Alert) 2011 Cable Show will be hosting the IPv6 Summit, which is a one-day immersive dive into the transition for cable operators, programming, technology, and business-strategy specialists, along with industry partners from the consumer electronics, content and information-technology sectors.

The IPv6 Summit, which takes place on Tuesday, June 14 at McCormick Place in Chicago, features panel discussions and a keynote address from John Curran (News - Alert), the president and CEO of the American Registry for Internet Number. Furthermore, The Cable Show will showcase an IPv6 Pavilion on the Show floor, which will give a glimpse of IPv6-enabled consumer devices.

IPv6, which succeeds the IPv4 protocol which is currently on use, was designed in the late 1990s.

A major aspect to be addressed on the World IPv6 Day concerns potential issues with websites deploying IPv6 under controlled conditions. Subscribers with IPv6 enabled devices should be able to use the new protocol on World IPv6 Day, while the rest continue using IPv4.  Although the majority of subscribers (99.98 percent) will be able to access services as usual during World IPv6 Day, several subscribers employing devices with older operating system or router software, particularly in home networks, may experience impaired access to participating websites during the trial.

Want to learn more about the latest in communications and technology? Then be sure to attend ITEXPO West 2011, taking place Sept. 13-15, 2011, in Austin, Texas. ITEXPO (News - Alert) offers an educational program to help corporate decision makers select the right IP-based voice, video, fax and unified communications solutions to improve their operations. It's also where service providers learn how to profitably roll out the services their subscribers are clamoring for – and where resellers can learn about new growth opportunities. To register, click here.

Calvin Azuri is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of Calvin’s articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Jennifer Russell