Wednesday 28 November 2012

Move over IPv4, IPv6 comes to India

The Indian Registry for Internet Names and Numbers (IRINN) has begun issuing the next version of Internet addresses, IPv6, in the country. This is the latest in a series of reports over a few months deliberating the big move. IPv6 is being adopted because there is a limit to the number of IP addresses the existing standard (IPv4) can hold. Going by the increasing number of users, IPv4 addresses will be exhausted this year. IPv6, with 128-bit addresses, supports more IP addresses than the 32-bit IPv4 addresses.

The Asia Pacific Network Information Centre (APNIC), one of the bodies that issue Internet Protocol addresses, has authorised the IRINN for allotting IP addresses in India. Reports have quoted APNIC director (Services and Operations) Sanjaya as saying, "The number of IPv6 addresses available is enormous. ISPs (Internet Service Providers) can allocate an IP address to their users. People can be easily identified if they are using IPv6."

The IRINN is issuing the initial set of IPv6 addresses in the price range starting from Rs 21,999, as opposed to the existing rate of Rs 66,000 in the APAC region.

Commenting on the new series of IP addresses, the president of the Internet Service Providers Association of India, Rajesh Charia said that IPv6 addresses will prove to be several times cheaper for companies than IPv4 ones. National Internet Exchange of India (NIXI) chief executive Govind was quoted as saying, "We are issuing IPv6 addresses at up to 60 per cent less than prevailing rates in the ongoing soft launch period. This is to test compatibility of hardware and softwares that has to be in place. In next couple of months we will launch industrial grade of IPv6," Charia said that the government will have to ensure that the new equipment and devices produced or imported in the country are IPv6-enabled.

Earlier reports suggested that the IPv6 requires the entire Internet, which is a lot of connections, everything from devices to service providers to switch to the new standard. The IPv6 standard can support 3.4×1038IP addresses, which means that you can have as many devices connected to the web with a unique IP address.

On World IPv6 day, which was held on June 8, 2011, Internet companies carried out a technical exercise to try their hands on their new IP addresses. A few popular services, namely Google, Facebook, Yahoo!, and Akamai decided to test out IPv6, along with the Internet Society, an organisation that handles Internet standards. The exercise was done to eliminate any issues that might crop up during the worldwide transition to IPv6, which currently has provisions for about four billion IP addresses.

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