DoT gives nod for new Internet protocol

Last Updated: Sat, Feb 21, 2009 04:11 hrs

New Delhi: The Department of Telecom has decided to adopt the next generation protocol for Internet services in the country.

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Called Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6), the new standard will offer improved address space, quality of service and data security capabilities. The existing standard, IPv4, is getting choked and is expected to run out of space by 2011 as consumers increasingly use broadband and Net services on mobile devices.

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IPv6 is expected to remove the limitations pertaining to IP addresses that are prevalent in the current regime. Under IPv4, India has been allocated only two lakh addresses. This is one of the biggest constraints to the adoption of intelligent IP-based network applications and devices within the country.

Further, IPv4-based addresses have proven difficult to get allotted, as there is a severe shortage internationally. Therefore, it is critical for India and other developing countries to move to the IPv6 platform, simply because IPv4 chokes the potential for Internet growth in India.

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Cost issues

However, market analysts said that issues related to cost of implementing the new standards and interoperability needs to be addressed.

“There is no business case yet for Internet Service Providers to move to the new protocol. So most Internet firms are adopting a wait and watch policy before they start investing into building a new network that can handle IPv6. While there is no doubt that this standard will be adopted, it will be a gradual process. The first adopters could be the large integrated player,” said Amitabh Singhal, Director, Telxess Consulting. Globally, IPv6 adoption is gaining momentum as several European nations and countries such as Japan, Taiwan and China have been aggressive pursuing adoption of the new standard.

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The telecom regulator had suggested that the National Internet Exchange of India could be used as a national test bed for IPv6 and interconnection among various nodes to provide access to all ISPs.

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It also suggested that the usage of the new standard in the platforms and applications pertaining to e-governance be mandated, and that the Government also ensure IPv6 compatibility in its own procurement of IT systems and networks.

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