IP address crisis to hasten adoption of new Internet protocol

Thomas K Thomas New Delhi | Updated on November 14, 2017

The worldwide shortage of Internet Protocol (IP) addresses is no cause of concern to consumers and corporates in India, according to the Internet Service Providers Association of India (ISPAI).

That's because the regional registry has enough IP addresses that will last for another 3-4 months and after that Indian operators are ready to move to the new Internet Protocol version 6 or Ipv6, which has lots and lots of IP addresses. “There is no need to panic as far as India is concerned. Firstly, the number of devices connected to the Net in India is very low so the demand for IP address is still low.

“Secondly, the regional registry has IP addresses that will last for another few months and if the IP addresses gets over, then Indian operators are ready with the new IPv6.

“We were anyway working towards migrating to the new protocol by the end of 2011 and we will now hasten it,” said Mr Rajesh Chharia, President, ISPAI. Globally, IP addresses are given out by the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) to regional registries around the world.

India gets its IP addresses from one such regional registry called the Asia Pacific Network Information Centre (APNIC). The problem is that the pool of IP addresses is set to get over next week. That's because currently more than 95 per cent of the operators worldwide run on the older version of Internet technology — IPv4, which has been around since the 1980s. Since the number of mobile phones, smart devices and gadgets has proliferated over the last 5 years, the demand for IP addresses has also increased.

But in India, the uptake of Internet access devices is still on the lower side, therefore, the demand for IP address is not very high and APNIC still has a stock of IPv4 addresses to give. Also, the Government has set a deadline of December 2011 for major telecom operators to adopt the IPv6 in the country.

“The shortage in IP addresses on IPv4 will push the operators to adopt IPv6 faster. Those who don't will not survive. The new standard will offer improved address space, quality of service and data security capabilities. But there are issues such as inter-operability between IPv4 and IPv6 that needs to be addressed,” said Mr Amitabh Singhal, Director, Telxess Consulting.

So a subscriber, whose ISP is still on IPv4, won't be able to access content on a Web site that's based on IPv6.


Published on February 03, 2011

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