UPDATED: AT&T takes five-step approach to its IPv6-only transition

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AT&T (NYSE: T) would like to migrate all of its networks and end-user customers to an IPv6-only environment, but realizes that the process will take a number of years, an Inquirer article says.

Like other large service providers, AT&T is no stranger to IPv6, having run the protocol in its networks for a number of years to serve research & education and government clients, but only in the past year has a call for IPv6 transition been seen in the larger market due to the depletion of IPv4 addresses.   

Of course, reaching its goal will be done in a migration manner, as AT&T will run dual-stack networks that simultaneously support both IPv4 and IPv6.

Tom Siracusa, executive director at AT&T Labs, said in a report that he expects users will take a five-phase approach to migrate to IPv6, adding that the operational costs associated with running a dual stack network will eventually drive all flavors of users--large service providers, small ILECs, and everyday users--to switch to IPv6.  

"There are several factors that will drive forward full adoption of IPv6, not least of which will be the cost of maintaining both networks," he told the Inquirer. "Another driving force will be the next "killer app"--such as the need to adopt VOIP on LTE [Long Term Evolution networks]."

AT&T is not the only service provider aggressively making this transition. Australian competitive service provider Internode, for one, just this week launched its IPv6 service on an opt-in basis for its existing ADSL2+ users.

For more:
- the Inquirer has this article

Special Report: The six faces of IPv6

Related articles:
AT&T offers IPv6 transition consulting to businesses
Hurricane Electric debuts IPv6 professional services unit
AT&T commits $1 billion to upgrade business network capabilities
UNH-IOL to assist broadband providers, vendors during IPv6 World Day

Note: This article has been corrected to amend previous wording that AT&T had set a goal to have all of its networks IPv6-only by 2020. According to AT&T, this date is incorrect.