Louisville, CO – The Internet Society (ISOC) is coordinating a 24-hour test of IPv6, the next-generation Internet Protocol, on World IPv6 Day, June 8, 2011. Entities around the world will test the compatibility of web sites and associated networking technologies with IPv6. Now that the remaining supply of available IPv4 network addresses is rapidly dwindling, IPv6 has become critically important. IPv6 will be required to support the ever increasing number of subscribers, devices, and services that need to connect to the Internet. Cable operators have been preparing their networks for the eventual transition to the new protocol and will be actively supporting the test on World IPv6 day.

While cable operators are leading the way to upgrade their networks to support IPv6, during World IPv6 day, some cable operators including Bright House Networks, Charter, Comcast, Cox, GCI and Time Warner Cable, will also be conducting limited subscriber tests of this new IPv6 Internet connection technology to determine how subscribers will interact with their websites and those of Facebook, Google, Yahoo, Akamai, Limelight Networks, and others that enable IPv6, in addition to IPv4, for 24 hours.

CableLabs®, the cable industry’s technology development consortium, its member cable operators, the National Cable & Telecommunications Association (NCTA), Cable Europe Labs, and the Society of Cable & Telecommunications Engineers, have been preparing for IPv6 deployment in cable networks for more than five years. CableLabs began updating its specifications in 2004 to account for IPv6 usage and has hosted several IPv6 forums, bringing together experts from all aspects of broadband, including content providers and consumer electronics companies, to analyze IPv4 and IPv6 co-existence requirements and to define ways to enable a graceful transition to IPv6. At an IPv6 Summit on April 21, cable operators and others shared strategies for ensuring a positive subscriber experience on World IPv6 Day. Such discussions included potential responses to customer issues with devices on their home networks and customer care troubleshooting information on the IPv6 transition.

Following World IPv6 Day, the NCTA’s 2011 Cable Show will host the IPv6 Summit, 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 – Tuesday, June 14 at McCormick Place in Chicago – will feature detailed panel discussions and a keynote address from John Curran, the President and CEO of the American Registry for Internet Number. In addition, The Cable Show will feature an IPv6 Pavilion on the Show floor, offering a look at IPv6-enabled consumer devices, throughout the duration of exhibit floor hours June 14-16. 

IPv6, the successor to the IPv4 protocol currently used on the Internet, was designed in the late 1990s but has not been broadly deployed globally. One of the goals of World IPv6 Day is to expose potential issues with websites deploying IPv6 under controlled conditions so that they can be quickly addressed. Those subscribers with IPv6 enabled devices should be able to use the new protocol on World IPv6 Day, while other subscribers will continue to use IPv4 as they do today. However, while the vast majority of subscribers (99.98%) should be able to access services as usual during World IPv6 Day, it is expected that some devices with older operating system or router software, particularly in home networks, may experience impaired access to participating websites during the trial.

Subscribers are encouraged to check whether their devices are ready for World IPv6 Day in advance of June 8 by visiting test-ipv6.com. If issues are detected, subscribers may look at the website of the American Registry for Internet Numbers (ARIN) for troubleshooting help. In particular, subscribers are encouraged to visit their manufacturer’s website to upgrade their operating systems, web browsers, and home routers to the latest software versions.

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