Comcast Begins Move to IPv6

Comcast is making a move to IPv6, making IPv6 transit services available to its
wholesale customers.

This a significant development because in less than two years, the
address space will be exhausted, but it doesn’t mean there won’t be any more
Internet addresses. IPv4 has a 32-bit address size, allowing for only 4.3 billion
addresses. In contrast, IPv6 is a 128-bit address space allowing for a staggering
340,282,366,920,938,463,463,374,607,431,768,211,456 possible addresses.

“IPv6 is beginning to become a requirement, although usage is relatively low today,”
Barry Tishgart, VP of Internet Services for Comcast told “Some
customers are making decisions on the basis of future traffic growth and that’s why IPv6
is increasingly important.”

There have been some questions raised about the business
case for IPv6
in the Internet community. The U.S. Government has also begun to
transition to IPv6 with an IPv6 ready mandate that
was instituted in 2008.

For Comcast’s wholesale customers, which include Web hosting providers, the business
case is one of choice and availability. The new IPv6 services from Comcast are being
offered at the same price as Comcast’s existing IPv4 services. Tishgart explained that
wholesale transit pricing is usage-based regardless of whether v4 or v6 protocols are
used. He added that billing is based on the aggregate traffic.

While IPv6 represents the future of the Internet, Comcast will not be transitioning
any part of its network entirely away from IPv4 anytime soon.

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