News Release

Free (Iliad Group) Implements Cisco Carrier-Grade IPv6 Solution

One of the World's Largest Residential Broadband Solution Deployments
Sep 02, 2010

SAN JOSE, Calif., Sept. 2, 2010 – Cisco today announced that Free (Iliad Group), a leading broadband solutions operator in France, has deployed the Cisco® Carrier-Grade IPv6 Solution using Internet Protocol version 6 rapid deployment technology, also known as 6rd, allowing more than four million Free residential broadband customers to be a part of one of the world's largest live IPv6-enabled residential Internet service deployments.

The investment lets Free prepare for and mitigate the impending IPv4 address exhaustion, while scaling its network to address the rapid growth of Internet-connected devices. Free customers will benefit from Internet connectivity that can scale to meet the growing number of devices and applications.

Highlights/Key Facts

  • Exhaustion of IPv4 addresses is predicted to occur sometime in 2011, according to various sources including, a website that tracks IPv4 address allocation by the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority. IPv4 has a finite set of unique addresses, numbering approximately four billion, which is reaching depletion due to the ever-growing number of Internet-connected and smart devices.
  • Deploying 6rd allows service providers to offer large-scale IPv6 to customers via their existing IPv4-access network infrastructure and backend systems. The technology also significantly reduces the lead-time to IPv6 deployment for service providers while protecting their existing network investment.
  • In August the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) published RFC 5969, the standards track protocol specification for 6rd, paving the way for widespread adoption and interoperability.
  • The Cisco 6rd Border Relay technology is a component of Cisco's Carrier-Grade IPv6 (CGv6) solution that outlines a methodical three-step framework of "Preserve, Prepare and Prosper" for customers looking to transition to IPv6. The framework was launched in October 2009 with the Cisco Carrier Routing System Series, Cisco ASR 1000 Series Aggregation Services Routers and other products supporting this solution. No feature license is needed for supporting 6rd.
  • The new 6rd capability that is part of Cisco Carrier-Grade IPv6's "Prepare" step enhances the industry's widest selection of IPv6 functionality. Now enabled across virtually the entire routing and switching portfolio, essential capabilities such as dual stack, IPv4-over-IPv6, and IPv6-over-IPv4 tunneling technologies work in conjunction with large-scale Network Address Translation (NAT) capabilities to facilitate the migration to an all-IPv6 network.

Supporting Quotes

  • Maxime Lombardini, chief executive officer, Free (Iliad Group, France)
  • "Free is committed to providing the latest innovations for its customers, including full support today for the IP Next-Generation Network, IPv6. We have chosen the Cisco Series Aggregation Services Routers ASR 1000 router for their support of an integrated high-performance IPv6 Rapid Deployment or 6rd technology, which allows us to supply IPv6 to our users in a remarkably simple and cost-efficient manner."

  • Kelly Ahuja, senior vice president and general manager, Service Provider Routing Technology Group, Cisco
  • "Cisco solutions have been instrumental in the Internet build-out since its inception. 6rd complements our IPv6 solution portfolio, which is helping service providers address immediate challenges as they preserve and prepare their networks for long-term success, prosperity and business growth."

  • Mark Townsley, former IETF Internet Area director, Cisco distinguished engineer, and co-author of the 6rd standards specification
  • "It is critical that service providers have the tools necessary to see IPv6 deployed to users before the lack of IPv4 addresses stifles the growth and evolution of the Internet. As a user of Free's 6rd deployment, I get a preview into the next-generation Internet with an abundance of global addresses far surpassing what is available today with IPv4. 6rd has allowed Free to deploy IPv6 quickly and easily to my home, and I look forward seeing many more IPv6 users coming online around the world."

Supporting Resources


Cisco CGv6, Carrier-Grade IPv6, Internet Protocol Version 6, IPv6, 6rd, Internet Protocol Version 4, IPv4, RFC 5969, Cisco Carrier-Grade Services Engine, Cisco Carrier Routing System-1, CRS-1, CRS-3, Internet Protocol Next-Generation Network, IP NGN, ASR 1000, Kelly Ahuja, Free

About Free

Free is an Iliad subsidiary. The Iliad Group is a major player in the French telecommunications and Internet access market via Free and Alice (4,514,000 broadband subscribers as of 30 June 2010), Onetel and Iliad Télécom (fixed telephony providers) and Free Mobile. The Iliad Group is listed on Euronext Paris under the ticker ILD.