Comcast, ISC offer open IPv6 software

Broadband is turning the Internet into unlivable beachfront property; to take up residence you need an IP address and it's predicted that the remaining group of IPv4 addresses will be gone by 2012. This concerns cable companies who depend on high-speed data services to provide long-term revenues and growth opportunities as traditional entertainment offerings fracture.

Comcast, among the hungriest of the cable operators chowing down on IPv4, has worked out what it hopes is a solution to the problem: open source software that will help carriers and enterprises migrate to IPv6. Called Address Family Transition Router (AFTR), the software was developed along with Internet Systems Consortium (ISC) and is available free to network engineers who want to experiment with it.

AFTR's goal is to help users with computers, printers, gaming systems or other Internet-connected devices access IPv4 content and services over an IPv6 network using an emerging standard, Dual Stack Lite that Comcast developed and will trial in April. The nagging question is why a cable company would develop a high-speed Internet technology and call it DSL--Dual Stack Lite.

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