IPv4 Internet Protocol addresses were widely expected to become exhausted this year, but now it appears IPv4 addresses may last into 2012. (For more, see IPv4 Addresses Dwindle, But Cable Prepares). Nevertheless, there is a flurry of IPv6 activity as stakeholders gear up for the inevitable transition.

The Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers (SCTE) this week formed the IPv6 Deployment Working Group to bring together cable engineers with other professionals from hardware and software communities to share information and best practices on device management and service enablement in an IPv6 environment.

The group will address the impact of IPv6 on management of DOCSIS devices, service enablement, voice and video services, and other topic areas. Initial members of the IPv6 Deployment Working Group include ARRIS, Bright House Networks, Comcast, D-Link, Rogers Communications and Time Warner Cable. The forum is open to all SCTE members.

In addition to facilitating the sharing of expertise among group participants, the working group also will be responsible for the creation of best practices and educational and training materials that are pertinent to IPv6. These materials are expected to provide the technical foundation that will support the deployment of IPv6 across all segments of the cable industry.

And in other IPv6 news, according to CableLabs, "In a significant accomplishment, cable industry technology suppliers working with CableLabs successfully completed voice calls over networks employing IPv6."

Testing included IPv6 interoperability in a range of products including: DOCSIS 3.0 cable modems, DOCSIS 2.0+IPv6 cable modems, cable modem termination systems, PacketCable E-DVAs, e-set-top boxes, provisioning servers, home gateways, consumer electronics devices and carrier-grade NAT servers. (For more on NATs, see Why Care About IPv6?).

The successful tests are important in that they signal the ability of cable technology to support calling across both IPv4 and IPv6. During a CableLabs-hosted interoperability event last month, two separate calls involving IPv6 interoperability were completed:

  • A PacketCable 2.0 SIP call between a PacketCable 2.0 E-DVA (embedded Digital Voice Adapter) and Session Border Controller over IPv6; and
  • A PacketCable 2.0 SIP call between an IPv6 E-DVA and IPv4 E-MTA (embedded Multimedia Terminal Adapter).

Both calls were completed during a two-week IPv6 interoperability event Sept. 19-30. The event was the seventh in a series of IPv6 interoperability events hosted by CableLabs.

Companies participating in the interop testing included A10 Networks, Alcatel Lucent, ARRIS, Broadcom, Casa Systems, Cisco Systems, Ericsson, GENBAND, Huawei, Incognito Software, Intel, Juniper Networks, LG Electronics, Motorola, Netgear and ST Microelectronics.

?-Linda Hardesty

The Daily

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