Comcast aims for the future

I’m visiting the in-laws in Texas this weekend, and I use the SSTP VPN in Windows Server 2008 R2 to connect home (my client is Windows 7, but it works just as well with Vista). Never had many problems with it up until this weekend.

Apparently, on Friday, we had a power cut back at the house, and our network connectivity is still not happening. I’ve asked the house-sitter to restart the servers and routers where possible, but it’s still not there.

So I went online to Comcast, to track down whether they were aware of any local outage. Sadly not, so we’ll just have to wait until I get home to troubleshoot this issue.

What I did see at Comcast, though, got me really excited:

Comcast is looking for users to test IPv6 connectivity!

Anyone who talks to me about networking knows I can’t wait for the world to move to IPv6, for a number of reasons, among which are the following:

  • Larger address space – from 2^32 to 2^128. Ridiculously large space.
  • Home assignment of 64 bits to give a ridiculously large address space to each service recipient.
  • Multicast support by default. Also, IPsec.
  • Everyone’s a first-class Internet citizen – no more NAT.
  • FTP works properly over IPv6 without requiring an ALG.
  • Free access to all kinds of IPv6-only resources.

So I can’t but be excited that my local ISP, Comcast, is looking to test IPv6 support. I only hope that it’ll work well with the router we have (and the router we plan to buy, to get into the Wireless-N range). Last time I was testing IPv6 connectivity, it turned out that our router was not forwarding the GRE tunneling protocol that was used by the 6-in-4 protocol used by Hurricane Electric’s Tunnel Broker.

Who knows what other connectivity issues we’re likely to see with whatever protocol(s) Comcast is going to expect our routers and servers to support? I can’t wait to find out

2 thoughts on “Comcast aims for the future”

  1. How many home routers support IPv6? I bet it’s very few.

    I remember writing my first article in 1995 on what was then called IPng (next generation) and saying that the address space was so large “that we might just take it with us to the first few planets we colonize.”

  2. Like I said, I had to go with the Linksys “WRT54L” model router, based on a Linux platform, rather than the “WRT54G” that was supposedly equivalent, but which hadn’t had a firmware update in years, and refused to forward GRE protocol. And that was just so I could tunnel IPv6 inside IPv4.

    I have to wonder how many routers I will have to go through in order to find one that works with the IPv6 that Comcast will be setting up.

    Funnily enough, that’s one reason I hope they accept me for the beta programme – after all, if I buy a router that ought to work, they’ll probably help me debug it.

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