IP protocols/software

Comcast: More IPv6 Traffic Please

World IPv6 Launch Day reached the halfway point Wednesday without any cataclysmic problems, but Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) wouldn't mind seeing a few more v6 bits traveling on the network.

"From my point of view, I'd like to see a lot more traffic," says John Brzozowski, a Comcast distinguished engineer and the operator's chief architect for IPv6, told Light Reading Cable earlier today.

Comcast has already v6-enabled sites such as xfinity.comcast.net and xfinitytv.comcast.net. "We think there's a pretty significant opportunity to increase the numbers for other kinds of off-network content from the Googles, Yahoos and Facebooks of the world," Brzozowski adds.

Among ISPs, Comcast has been among the most aggressive with IPv6, so it's understandable that it would like to see how its work holds up under more stress. It's launched v6 to about one third of its broadband network, which would equate to about 6 million users, if they all had the capability turned on. In reality, about 5 percent of Comcast's high-speed Internet subscriber base has been able to use the new addressing scheme "out of the box," Brzozowski says.

To beef up those numbers, he'd like the ISP community and the consumer electronics industry to work together so home networking equipment and other connected devices for the home support IPv6 by default.

Although Brzozowski would like to see more IPv6 traffic, the numbers are increasing. Comcast hasn't published any specific numbers yet, but Brzozowski says v6 traffic was up 25 percent at the half-day point Wednesday. "What we want to see right now is a 24-hour cycle period of time go by and then we'll have a better read on usage patterns," he adds. "But I think there's more to come there as we go toward the end of this day."

And, so far, the day has been "largely uneventful, which is certainly what we had expected," Brzozowski says. (See IPv6 Launch Day: Should Milestones Be Boring?)

Looking ahead, Comcast expects to complete its IPv6 deployment on Arris Group Inc. (Nasdaq: ARRS) cable modem termination systems (CMTSs) this summer, and begin further work on the Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) platform, work that will likely spill into next year. "Our expectation is that we'll have some nationwide [IPv6] capabilities in the 2013 time frame," the Comcast engineer adds.

Wi-Fi meets IPv6
So far, Comcast's IPv6 activities have centered on its wireline broadband platform, but it's also been active with on-the-go Wi-Fi access, which has become a key component of Comcast's voice and cable modem services and is also central to a new roaming deal between several major U.S. MSOs. (See Cable Goes Big With Wi-Fi Roaming and Comcast Gives Wi-Fi a Voice .)

Comcast hasn't enabled v6 on its Wi-Fi hot spot deployments yet, but at The Cable Show in Boston last month, the operator, in conjunction with Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU) and Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC), did demonstrate Wi-Fi services with native IPv6/IPv4 dual stack capabilities at the show's "Imagine Park" area. Here's what Brzozowski had to say about that:

— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Light Reading Cable

acohn 12/5/2012 | 5:30:56 PM
re: Comcast: More IPv6 Traffic Please

Hopefully Comcast will fix up their peering to absorb all that new traffic.  Those ports are getting hot!

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