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North American ISPs trial IPv6
Posted by: Jordi on Sunday, December 07, 2003 - 10:37 AM
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ISPs in the U.S. are starting to test services that support IPv6, an upgrade to the Internet's main communications protocol. But advocates of the next-generation Internet technology say it may take until the year 2007 before U.S.-based multinationals are ready to deploy production IPv6 networks.

In October, the University of New Hampshire, the U.S. Department of Defense and the North American IPv6 Task Force announced deployment of the largest-ever IPv6 network for testing, training and software development purposes. Three ISPs - AT&T, Sprint and NTT - are supporting this nationwide test network, which is dubbed Moonv6.

Coordinators of Moonv6 say two more ISPs have committed to the project.

"U.S. ISPs are coming on board with IPv6," says Jim Bound, chairman of the North American IPv6 Task Force and an HP Fellow. "By February, five ISPs will have an IPv6 service for Moonv6. Two more major ISPs will be a part of our network."

Bound declined to identify which ISPs are joining the Moonv6 project. The only ISP that offers commercial IPv6 service in North America is NTT/Verio.

Bound said another sign of growing ISP support for IPv6 is that executives from AT&T, Sprint and NTT will speak at the U.S. IPv6 Summit, which will be held in Washington, D.C., Dec. 8-11.

As U.S. ISPs start supporting IPv6, forward-looking corporate network managers can start testing it.

"Most U.S. enterprises do not have IPv6 testbeds yet," Bound admits. "Starting next year we're going to be reaching out to the automotive industry, electronics, banking and manufacturing."

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