After significant planning, testing, deployment, and other preparation, we have achieved another critical milestone in our transition to IPv6, by starting the production rollout of support for IPv6 customer home networking! We are the first ISP in North America that has launched support for native IPv6 for both standalone computers and customer home networking. This follows our November 2011 production deployment for standalone computers. So whether a customer in a pilot market connects their home gateway device (a.k.a. router) directly to a cable modem or connects a single PC to their cable modem, they now can use IPv6 if their equipment supports IPv6.

This is a yet another significant milestone for our team at Comcast, the cable industry, and the Internet overall. As a pioneer and catalyst for the real world and at-scale deployment of IPv6 across the Internet beginning more than 7 years ago, this will greatly expand native dual stack support across our network and services. It is also the start of a new wave of IPv6-capable users on the Internet, since the large majority of customers use a home gateway device.

Just as with our standalone computer support for IPv6, customer home networking is also native dual stack. This means that eligible customers will be provisioned with IPv6 addresses in addition to their IPv4 address. We maintain our commitment to the goal of a seamless transition to IPv6 and strongly believe that native dual stack is the best approach for our customers. We also believe that this strategy will over time will meaningfully differentiate our service from our competitors in a way that customers will greatly appreciate. Our native dual stack Xfinity Internet service will provide customers with direct IPv4 and IPv6 access, without the need to use a tunnel, proxy, network address translator, or other inefficient, outdated, and error-prone middlebox. That means customer Internet access will continue to be direct and fast. And because middlebox solutions are not used, customers avoid the risk that certain applications slow down, fail to work, or experience other annoying errors. Since two of the main reasons customers buy our Xfinity Internet service is reliability and the speed — and this approach ensures that we maintain both while other ISPs may face challenges doing so over time — we think our strategic approach to IPv6 will be a winner in the marketplace in the coming years.

This deployment will occur first in our existing pilot market areas, which initially includes parts of Illinois, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey. In the coming months one of our biggest objectives is continuing to expand this deployment to more and more of our network around the U.S.

We again extend our appreciation to our vendor partners and especially our co-workers who have been committed to the goal to seamlessly introduce IPv6 in our network and to lead the way in the U.S. We continue to encourage others across the Internet ecosystem, especially content providers, to enable IPv6 support by default.

For all the key technical details, check out this complementary blog post today from John Jason Brzozowski.