The new and much talked about 21st century network that is to revolutionise the way BT provides all its services lacks the ability to support 20th century services claims ISP Andrews & Arnold (AAISP). The new network touted '21CN' that allows consumers to get faster broadband using ADSL2+ does not support the IPv6 protocol which AAISP have been offering successfully as an option to users for some time on the existing BT platform.
"The specification for BT's new 21CN products is clear that it allows ISPs to pass packets to and from their end users using point to point protocol (PPP) which would allow ISPs to offer IPv6.
The whole issue has come about because of a bug in CISCO equipment which BT use which is affecting use of IPv6 for some of AAISP's customers. It only affects some of BT's network. Even though we believe this bug was identified and fixed by CISCO a long time ago, BT appear to be refusing to rectify the problem, preferring to simply say they do not support IPv6."Adrian Kennard, Andrews & Arnold
AAISP can still provide IPv6 services using tunnelling over IPv4 where the problems exist in the BT network, however native IPv6 is preferred as it removes the unnecessary overheads. In response to the problem, and after several months of pursuing it, BT released the following statement.
"Thank you for your enquiry concerning IPv6. I can confirm that BT currently supports IPv4 on it's Broadband products and does not support IPv6. If you believe this will be a requirement for you going forward I would ask you to submit a formal Statement of Requirements, to enable BT to formally evaluate the same."Statement by BT
IPv6, the successor to the IPv4 protocol (which underlies the entire Internet and provides the familiar 192.168.0.50 style addressing), has been in development since 1996 and been used in live environments for several years. The next generation protocol is expected to become more widely used in the coming two years as IPv4 addresses are being depleted fast and will likely be exhausted by 2010/2011. This means support is crucial, and the lack of such on a new generation network that is currently being deployed is concerning. One high-profile example of an IPv6 deployment was in providing the network operations for the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games which used an IPv6 based network.