The National Internet Exchange of India (NIXI), today, announced three new initiatives aimed at raising awareness of the IPv6 protocol in India. IPv6 is the most recent version of the Internet Protocol communications system, which provides identification and location information for devices and networks connecting to the Internet. The protocol is considered especially important with the impending move to 5G, which will massively increase the total number of devices connecting to the Internet. The Department of Telecom (DoT) had, in February last year, mandated all government organizations to transition to IPv6 by March 2020.
The NIXI’s new initiatives include an expert panel (IP Guru) that will “extend support” to Indian organizations looking to make the move to IPv6 systems. It will also help in identifying and hiring agencies that provide the technical support required for these transitions. The panel consists of members from the Department of Telecom (DoT), Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) and the industry. It will be offering its services free of cost.
NIXI is also creating an education platform for IPv6, called NIXI Academy. This will include an IPv6 training portal to provide mass training about the technology. The beginner training materials offered initially will be available for free, but advanced courses may be offered in future, which will be chargeable.
Thirdly, a NISI IP-Index was introduced, which will showcase the adoption rate for IPv6 in India and compare it against other economies in the world. India is already number one in IPv6 adoption worldwide, according to a September 2020 report from global cloud services provider Akamai. The new portal will include details about IPv6 adoption, traffic and more in the next few weeks.
Organizations and governments around the world have wanted to retire the old IPv4 protocol for many years now. The old protocol, which was based on a 32-bit system, could only accommodate 4.3 billion devices, which isn’t enough for the burgeoning number of devices that connect to the Internet today. IPv6 is more secure, efficient and mobile friendly, making it the right system to use for the 5G future. “The idea is that IPv6 addresses will be adopted as the identifiers for both external and internal devices in organizations,” said tech policy analyst Prasanto K. Roy.
Further, IPv6 is also expected to offer better traceability and interaction between networks and devices in future. This is important, given the growth of the Internet of Things (IoT), that’s expected once 5G networks start rolling in. For instance, in connected cars, multiple different parts of the vehicles connect to a network, meaning they may all need their own IP addresses. Essentially, while this system doesn’t impact the Internet speed or bandwidth directly, it is essential to ensure all devices and connect to the Internet and interact with each other.