CONTRIBUTED BY ALEXANDRE CASSEN
Free is the second-largest French ISP with more than 4 million broadband subscribers (ADSL and FTTH). Free provide access to its network and services through its set-top box (STB) called Freebox, the name of Free's R&D lab in charge of hardware and software design. The Freebox STB has been designed entirely, from hardware to software, by the R&D team to provide flexibility and reactivity to introduce new features and services.
As an ISP, we wanted to find a transparent and rapid way to provide IPv6 to our customers. We wanted to offer IPv6 access to end users though a simple activation approach rather than through migration, so we investigated all available IPv6 network designs. The 6to4 approach had been evaluated but not considered to be a potential candidate because of a number of well-known issues (e.g., asymmetric routings, DoS exposition, not a global solution). We were evaluating several options when Rémi Després came up with the 6rd (IPv6 rapid development) design in November 2007. It was simple and straightforward enough that we could begin immediately to work on implementation. (For more information on 6rd, refer to Despris' IETF draft : draft-despres-6rd-02.txt.)
IPv6 provides designs to simplify and speed up future Internet applications, but these benefits may not justify the extra expense associated with deploying IPv6. On the one hand, most ISPs are waiting for "killer apps" that will ...