A Novel IPv6 Experience
A novel experience in IPv6 deployment for end users is being implemented in Paraguay.
Beginning in August, COPACO, an Internet service provider in Paraguay, is offering free IPv6 support throughout its network to customers whose equipment supports the new protocol, thus encouraging the adoption of technologies that will allow using the latest version of the IP protocol.
Hernan R. Franco, part of COPACO’s IP/SIP Network Management Department, noted that, in order to promote the IPv6 protocol among their customers, they created the http://ipv6.copaco.com.uy portal, where they included a beta tester6 program and also conducted a massive communications campaign.
As a result of these actions, several Internet transit customers (ISPs) who had already received IPv6 prefixes requested IPv6 service from COPACO. “We are now constantly in the process of re-configuring filters for transit with our international providers,” Franco noted.
Likewise, several corporate customers also requested IPv6 service for testing purposes. Prefixes were assigned to those who did not already have any and transit was configured for those who had already been assigned their own resources.
The biggest challenge for COPACO lies in its retail segment customers (ADSL, FTTH and GPON).
In the case of ADSL customers, because the vast majority of user modems are low-cost devices with no IPv6 support, the beta tester6 program is analyzing each request and detecting modems that do not support IPv6. In the latter case, if the customer wants to participate in the tester6 program, it is recommended that they buy a modem which supports dual-stack IPv6.
In order to further encourage IPv6 adoption, COPACO has plans to buy modems for both ADSL and FTTH clients. This means that new customers will have dual-stack service (IPv4 and IPv6), while existing customers will be slowly migrated.
In the case of FTTH and/or GPON, Franco observed that “adding IPv6 users appears to be more doable, as customer routers have somewhat better IPv6 support.”
COPACO also has a laboratory and a working group assigned to IPv6 certification and testing for retail customers and conducting further testing on equipment, operating systems and terminals with the IPv6 Ready label.
The beta tester6 program has also allowed COPACO to identify three relevant issues: many customers are interested in IPv6, what it is and how they can implement the new protocol in their networks; problems for certifying equipment not supporting IPv6 (mainly low to medium cost devices); and issues with certain devices (smartphones for example) which require additional configuration or updates for their proper operation.