APRIL 6, 2010 -- Verizon has begun testing on its all-fiber FiOS network a new Internet communications protocol, designed to enable the continued expansion of the Internet and facilitate the future development of innovative services.
The new protocol, Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6), is designed to 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 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.
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.
Verizon Wireless is also implementing IPv6 in its evolved packet core that will be supporting the Long Term Evolution (LTE) deployment.