Internet widens its reach

Last Updated: Thu, Jun 07, 2012 04:30 hrs

The Internet world today moved to a new addressing system, Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6), which will allow creation of trillions of new web addresses. This would prevent the Internet running out of available addresses for new devices like tablets and smartphones.

Every device on the computer network is assigned an internet protocol (IP) address, a numerical address which forms the basis of Internet communication. At present, the websites run on IPv4. IPv6 offers a larger address space than the current IPv4. IPv4 is made up of a sequence of four sets of numbers. IPv6 has a set of six numbers to allocate new addresses to users

Most organisations and companies moved to IPv6 today. In India, state-run telecom firms Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) and Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Ltd (MTNL), and corporations including Reliance Communications, Sify Technologies, Tata Communications, Tata Teleservices are some of the organisations which are IPV6-ready.

The department of information technology Said it expected by December, all its websites to move to the latest format of Internet addressing system. However, users are unlikely to notice any difference in their web experience.

India is running out of IP addresses on IPv4, a problem that is likely to get more acute with the upcoming roll-out in the country of 4G and broadband wireless access services. In addition, with the government targeting 160 million and 600 million broadband customers by 2017 and 2020, respectively, the need to move to IPv6 becomes more crucial.

"IPv6 is designed to handle security issues better. All government websites will be IPv6-compatible by December this year. For the country as a whole, the road map for transitioning to IPv6 is by 2020," Telecom Secretary R Chandrashekhar told reporters here at the function marking World IPv6 Launch Day.

At present, most devices globally are running on the 27-year old 'IPv4', which uses 32-bit addresses limiting the IP address space to about 4.3 billion possible unique addresses. However, IPv6 will use 128-bit addresses thereby making available in almost infinite pool of such unique IP addresses.

India at present has 35 million IPv4 addresses against a user base of about 360 million data users.

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