Verizon has begun testing on its all-fiber FiOS network a new
Internet communications protocol that will enable the Internet to
continue to expand and facilitate the future development of innovative
The new protocol – known as Internet Protocol version 6, or
IPv6 – is designed to eventually replace the current Internet Protocol
version 4 (IPv4), which over the next few years is expected to reach the
maximum number of IP addresses it can accommodate, due to the rapid
growth of the World Wide Web and IP-connected devices.
IPv6 expands the number of possible addresses from
approximately 4 billion with IPv4 to roughly 340 trillion trillion
trillion IPv6 addresses.
Because both IPv4 and IPv6 will be in use during the expected
lengthy transition period, network-connected equipment and network
operating systems must be able to handle both protocols.
"FiOS is a key service that can take advantage of IPv6," said
Jean McManus, executive director – packet network technology for
Verizon. "We’ve been working on an IPv6 transition plan for FiOS along
with our other residential and enterprise services, and this work
involves testing network equipment and making necessary customer
premises equipment changes to ensure interoperability and proper
operation of equipment. The FiOS trial is a key step toward enabling
IPv6 in our core network, on edge routers and on CPE."
Verizon’s month-long trial of IPv6 involves FiOS-enabled
customer homes with customized CPE – provided by Verizon – that can
support both IPv6 and IPv4. The dual protocol setup will also be
implemented on Verizon’s edge gateway routers. Verizon employs 6PE
technology, which uses IPv6-provider edge routers to connect across the
company’s IPv4 MPLS core. The IPv6 traffic is then sent over
IPv6-capable peering connections.
A key advantage of IPv6, McManus said, is that a customer’s
home router would no longer require network address translation (NAT),
which makes it possible for a single public Internet address to be
translated into many private IP addresses to accommodate multiple
IP-enabled devices inside the home. IPv6 allows each device to have its
own public address. This streamlining of the home environment will allow
for more innovation in services to occur.
"As a result of this trial, we can begin to validate our
strategy for IPv6 migration for the residential market while maintaining
service continuity during the transition," she said.
Verizon has a long heritage of IPv6 expertise. The company
was one of the first in the industry to begin deploying the protocol in
1998 for its very high-performance backbone network service (vBNS) for
its government customers. Today, Verizon continues to support IPv6 on
its networks used by enterprise and government customers and will enable
and deploy additional IPv6 equipment and services on its public and
private IP global networks in 2010 and 2011.
Verizon Wireless is also implementing IPv6 in its evolved
packet core that will be supporting the Long Term Evolution (LTE)
Verizon Communications Inc.,
headquartered in New York, is a global leader in delivering broadband
and other wireless and wireline communications services to mass market,
business, government and wholesale customers. Verizon Wireless operates
America’s most reliable wireless network, serving more than 91 million
customers nationwide. Verizon also provides converged communications,
information and entertainment services over America’s most advanced
fiber-optic network, and delivers innovative, seamless business
solutions to customers around the world. A Dow 30 company, Verizon
employs a diverse workforce of approximately 222,900 and last year
generated consolidated revenues of more than $107 billion.