I read Joel Snyder's opinion column "Stillborn IPv6 offers no compelling reasons to switch" (Sept. 27, page 37) with great dismay. The view that we can engineer around a need for IPv6 will continue to balkanize the Internet, breaking down the end-to-end model that has to a great degree made the Internet the success it is.
Regarding Snyder's comment that Microsoft is not going to release IPv6 in Windows 2000 (or Windows 2001, whatever that is): I have been pleasantly surprised by the resources that Microsoft has dedicated to working with the University of Southern California/Information Sciences Institute-East on an IPv6 implementation for NT (including NT5, now known as Windows 2000). Granted, it isn't a "release," but the fact that Microsoft has ported so many existing applications and made source code available is good for everyone. The engineers involved are also very responsive on their IPv6 implementation mailing list. For more information, see http://research.microsoft.com/msripv6/.
Snyder's comment that IPv6 "doesn't solve a lot of the other problems we are discovering in managing and maintaining the Internet" seems wrong to me. I have to wonder what problems Snyder might be referring to because these "other problems" are exactly what IPv6 is designed to address. Would Snyder also say that the Internet2 and 6Bone projects are dead on arrival?
Quality engineering takes time. Transitioning large systems takes time. Saying we don't need to do either but can just keep adding duct tape and baling wire and "fatter routers" is simple denying the inevitable.
Regarding your "Face-off" on open cable access ("Is open cable access necessary?" Oct. 4, page 65):
Why does AT&T support open access in Canada but resist it here in the U.S.? Is ISP choice good for Canadians but bad for Americans?
James Cicconi's article adds nothing to this policy debate. But at least he doesn't go so far as to claim open access is technically infeasible, as the cable industry has claimed in the past.
And please, Mr. Cicconi, no more about your users having access to any ISP. What you say is true, as long as your users pay twice for the same service. How about letting those users access America Online without also having to pay for Excite@ Home? Now that is freedom of choice!
GTE and the regional Bell operating com-panies missed the boat. I watched for years as new housing and apartment buildings were developed and wondered why on earth the Baby Bells and GTE did not put the last few feet of copper into those houses. They should have known that in a few years the demand for a high-speed data port would force them to come back and spend more money installing something that could have been there in the first place. I know that digital subscriber line was hardly off the drawing board at the time, but ISDN had been around for a couple of decades, as well as fiber to the curb.
Now, only a few years later, AT&T is going to pick up the ball the others dropped. I am more than willing to pay AT&T and TCI for all of my cable, data and cell services on one bill. It would be nice if GTE came in and gave me a choice, more bandwidth with DSL or easier service with cable.
If GTE's service never arrives, then maybe I will complain about a choice of ISP. In that case, I still won't mind paying AT&T a minor royalty to use the cable that cost more than $50 billion to install.