Broadband News

BT's 21st Century Network doesn't work with 20th century protocols

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 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.


"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..."

Good grief... :-(

  • billford
  • over 12 years ago

To be fair though, does the spec BT released for this say it would support IPv6.

Whether the protocol is the future or not is irrelevant - if the service spec didn't say it would work, surely this is AAISP's problem for trying to implement it and/or not asking before committing themselves?

  • therioman
  • over 12 years ago

LMFAO another BT 21CN balls up LOL
Thank the lord i stayed away and didnt listen to any of the now frankly rubbish hype

  • over 12 years ago

wasnt LLU supposed to be killed of by 21CN by now? :)

  • chrysalis
  • over 12 years ago

Amazing how behind the times BT. If 21CN doesn't supported IPv6, it should have done - after all, BT should know that IPv4 addresses are running out.

  • MrTAToad2
  • over 12 years ago

Hmmm. BT's 21CN runs over MPLS according to this page I dug up in Google:

This means that they can easily add IPv6 support using 6PE when there is demand for it. BT isn't going to see "demand" until their customers like AAISP formally send in requirements for IPv6.

Also, BT is working under the shadow of OFCOM. Even if they did have IPv6 working in a test mode, they wouldn't tell you unless you are a customer that formally asks for it. AAISP really should talk to other BT ISP customers about asking for IPv6.

  • wavetossed
  • over 12 years ago

quote"wasnt LLU supposed to be killed of by 21CN by now? :)"

LOL oh how we can giggle at those that said how great and cheap and fast 21CN would be ;)

  • over 12 years ago

Chrysalis - Erm, no? It's been clear from almost from the start that 21CN was an exercise to allow BT to charge ISP's more for less service.

  • Dawn_Falcon
  • over 12 years ago

No doubt the arguments will continue right up to 22CN, we all know they are crap, why do we ever bother with them!!

  • logicblock
  • over 12 years ago

I'd say I was surprised, but sadly when it comes to any vendor supporting IPv6 (or not as the case is 99% of the time) I'm never surprised to find they can't be bothered.

  • KarlAustin
  • over 12 years ago

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