The Government has released the roadmap for Internet Protocol Version 6 (IPv6) deployment in the country in a time bound manner. It has also decided to form an IPv6 Task Force in Public Private Partnership (PPP) mode for timely implementation of IPv6 in the country. This was disclosed by the Minister of Communications & Information Technology Thiru A.Raja here yesterday while releasing the National IPv6 Deployment Roadmap. IPv4, the initial version of address platform is already overburdened in India with 18.4 million registered addresses and is expected to exhaust the available space globally by March 2012. This initiative of the Government has come at most appropriate time when a concerted effort is needed on part of all stakeholders to migrate to a higher platform i.e. IPv6, he said.
Stating that IPv6 deployment in India has so far been mostly a Government led initiative, the Minister invited all the stakeholders to come forward and to make the activities of this task force a success. The Minister said that this roadmap and the formation of the IPv6 Task Force together would enable citizens to start using IPv6 services by March 2012. For this all Telecom and Internet Service providers are required to become IPv6 compliant by December-2011 and offer IPv6 services thereafter.
The important issue of transition from IPv4 to IPv6 in the country has emerged has a critical concern for quite some time in view of the increasing demand for IP addresses and global scarcity of free space on IPv4 platform. Fast exhausting of IPv4 address space, growing demand for new addresses globally and expanding communication networks have necessitated timely action and implementation of new strategies to address the issue. IPv6 has 128 bits as compared to the limited addressing space of only 32 bits in IPv4. The Telecommunication Engineering Centre (TEC), the technical arm of the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has brought out this National IPv6 Deployment Roadmap for implementation by all Telecom and Internet Service Providers, Central and State Government Departments, industry associations, educational institutes, equipment manufacturers and all other stakeholders after conducting various workshops through out the country in last one year.
The Internet Protocol is slowly emerging as a global standard for communication. The current Internet protocol IPv4 served well in last 25 years but it has practical limitations.
IPv6 is the next generation Internet Protocol with improvement over the initial version of IPv4. It is a scalable Internet technology with a potential to help the Internet reach 1.1 billion people of India. USA, EU, Japan and other countries are deploying IPv6 today, role of IPv6 is not limited to Internet access alone but it is important in Defence, e-Governance and other crucial government projects. IP security in IPv6 provides end-to-end security implying that data is secured from the originating workstation through various routers of the Internet to the destined workstation.