Comcast and Time Warner Cable plan to participate in World IPv6 Day on June 8, joining more than two dozen other companies and organizations in a 24-hour test run of the next-generation Internet protocol.
The event, coordinated by the not-for-profit Internet Society, comes after the last blocks of IPv4 addresses were doled out to each of the five regional Internet number registries last month. While the IPv4 address scheme provides about 4.3 billion unique addresses -- which are expected to be allocated to service providers or other networks before the end of 2011 -- IPv6 provides an astronomically large number of addresses.
In January, Comcast initiated the first North American test of IPv6 running natively in a DOCSIS environment, with a group of cable modem users in Colorado. TWC expects to kick off its own tests this spring.
"World IPv6 Day is important to further the deployment and wide spread enablement of IPv6," John Brzozowski, Comcast distinguished engineer and chief architect for IPv6, said in a statement. "Being able to test our infrastructure at scale and verify our customers' experience is essential to seamless enablement."
"We're working hard to make IPv6 available to our customers," Time Warner Cable director of network technology Lee Howard said. "All transitions have risks, and we're glad to be working together to minimize those risks with this significant test."
Other companies currently scheduled to participate in the event include Google, Facebook, Yahoo, Akamai Technologies, Limelight Networks, Cisco Systems, SoftLayer Technologies and Rackspace Hosting.
"Network operators of all sorts have been transitioning to IPv6, not just websites and content hosting providers," Internet Society chief Internet technology officer Leslie Daigle said in a statement. "Networks that provide access to millions of end users complete the connection between Internet content and services and consumers of those services. Adding major access providers who are committed to IPv6 deployment is further illustration of the growing momentum around IPv6 deployment."
More information about World IPv6 Day is available at www.internetsociety.org/worldipv6day. The Internet Society was founded in 1992 to provide leadership in Internet-related standards, education and policy.