FierceTelecom: Was this implementation your first IPv6 compatible product or are you building that into all of your gateway products?
Thompson: IPv6 is something very heavily integrated into our product roadmap at this point. We actually launched our first IPv6 software stack in 2006 on an ADSL2+ business class device, it included built-in firewall, ICSHM5 and VPN support. It was a rather high-end device but about four years ago we had that product IPv6 logo certified and available. We've continued to do that. ... We've seen this coming for many years, and tried to make sure our products were at least--we had the software stacks included on our own products as need be for customers to pick it up.
... I think by this time next year it's not going to be a question. Either you're going to support IPv6 on all products you sell or you're not going to be selling anything but consumer gear. And I don't mean selling consumer gear to telcos, I mean more like Best Buy.
FierceTelecom: Where do you feel the rest of the industry is on IPv6? There's a lot of concern about IPv4 addressing right now. Do you feel you're well ahead of everyone else?
Thompson: For the network CPE space, absolutely. You've got companies like Cisco that probably have more robust stacks for core equipment that in some ways may be more ahead of us, but on the CPE side, I think we're, if not at the top of the game, I think we're at the absolute top of the pack. I'm not aware of any other CPE vendor that has as many products ready to go with software stacks certified, approved and available. There's an awful lot in evaluation. But we're not trying to get the basics working anymore. We've been at the point for well over a year of trying to get the details working. IPv6, it's nowhere near as simple as IPv4, and with the transition you have all kinds of questions. Does a telco customer want to do dual stack (IPv6/IPv4), do they want to do single stack, do they want IPv6 natting, IPv4, there are a lot of questions on implementation and we're looking at that level of detail right now instead of just the basics (like) do we have an IPv6 stack, do we have an IPv6 DNS stack? We're already well past that part. I think that helps a lot.
That's the kind of thing that our worldwide reach has helped with. We couldn't be number one in VDSL CPE sales if we weren't preparing for what's coming.