Discussions of Internet protocol version 6 (IPv6) often begin with reference to the nearly limitless number of addresses that it is capable of supporting.

Never mind, for a moment, why the Internet Engineering Task Force cooked up a scheme that could provide millions upon millions of IP addresses to every human being. The current regime, IPv4, is indeed constrained.

To better understand the practical implications of this protocol shift, turn to this month’s cover story by John Jason Brzozowski, a Comcast architect and principal engineer and active participant in several IPv6 organizations and other standards bodies. His article emphasizes stateful dynamic host configuration protocol (DHCP), domain name system (DNS) and a range of cable-specific systems and applications.

The proliferation of mobile devices (each wanting an IP address) lies behind the analysis from Seachange Vice President and SCTE Chairman Yvette Gordon Kanouff of what it will take to deliver content seamlessly on demand. Her take includes network-based media centers, metadata translators and more.

In a survey of advanced advertising technology, C-COR Principal Architect Guy Cherry spells out the definitions, scenarios and standards that will characterize a category that presumes the ability to target, if not address (that word again!), individuals or segmentable groups of viewers.

Mike Robuck describes an early case of Time Warner using Ethernet technology within a resilient packet ring (RPR) framework to deliver business-class services (and presumably lots of IP addresses) to a prominent New York City institution. Cases like that help explain the current enthusiasm for Metro Ethernet’s ability to target this market segment.

And speaking of targets, Ron Hranac opens his discussion this month of modulation error ratio (MER) with an analogy from the pistol range. What is MER? What isn’t it? And what’s the difference between carrier-to-noise ratio (CNR) and MER? Just take a deep breath, hold it then slowly breathe out while gently squeezing—not pulling—the words in his column. Jonathan Tombes
Editor
jtombes@accessintel.com

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