Comcast says it is ready to tackle the IPv4 to IPv6 transition

Comcast (NASDAQ: CMCSA) is aware that the last of the IPv4 addresses have been doled out by the American Registry of Internet Numbers (ARIN), but the cable MSO says it is ready to make the move to IPv6 addressing.

John Brzozowski, fellow and chief IPv6 architect for Comcast, said in a blog post that the service provider has spent 10 years preparing its network to deal with the IPv4 to IPv6 transition.

"We are well on the way to enabling all of our Internet properties with IPv6, and last year we became the first major U.S. ISP to deploy "dual-stack" connectivity (so named because it supports both IPv4 and IPv6 connections) throughout 100 percent of our network," Brzozowski said in a blog post. "As a result, we are well prepared to support the imminent and necessary migration to the newer, better standard."

Brzozowski's post comes on the heels of ARIN, the organization that oversees Internet addresses, announcing that it issued the final IPv4 addresses in its free pool. 

The organization said that it will continue to process and approve requests for IPv4 address blocks via the Wait List for Unmet IPv4 Requests, or through the IPv4 Transfer Market.

Going forward, ARIN said that any IPv4 address space that ARIN receives from IANA, or recovers from revocations or returns from organizations, will be used to satisfy approved requests on the Waiting List for Unmet Requests. Further, if it is able to fully satisfy all of the requests on the waiting list, any remaining IPv4 addresses would be placed into the ARIN free pool of IPv4 addresses to satisfy future requests. 

Comcast has made a number of strides in preparing for the IPv6 transition on both its core network and the CPE it supplies to its consumer and business customers.

Fewer than 5 percent of the cable modems connected to its network rely on IPv4 today, while over 70 percent of Comcast's broadband customers, residential and commercial, are actively provisioned with IPv6 support. At the same time, over 15 percent of Comcast's Internet traffic travels over IPv6.

IPv6 will also become the foundation for a number of Comcast's upcoming products and services such as its next generation entertainment operating system, X1.

Brzozowski said that because "Comcast was early to the IPv6 transition process, we are fortunate to be able to support our customers and network partners through the transition."

For more:
- see this Comcast blog post
- see this release
- see this ARIN blog post

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Asia Pacific region's IPv4 address pool near depletion
Final IPv4 address block allocated by IANA