TRAI to finalize recommendations on IPv6

By agencies   |   Wednesday, 26 October 2005, 07:00 Hrs
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BANGALORE: The telecom regulator TRAI will finalize its recommendations on issues relating to transition from the present generation of Internet IPv4, to the next generation IPv6 in India, by December, TRAI Member D P Seth said today.

Seth said the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India would come out with draft recommendations next month and thereafter take two-three weeks for finalizing them.

"We would like the Government to take a view (thereafter)," he said at the TRAI open house discussion on the issue.

TRAI is of the opinion that to achieve India’s national broadband policy 2004 targets, the Internet and broadband connections would require large quantity of IP (Internet Protocol) addresses, which is not be easily available through IPv4.

According to the regulator, the primary motivation for the deployment of IPv6 is to expand the available address space on the Internet, thereby enabling millions of new devices like Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs), cellular phones, home appliances and computers to be always connected to Internet.

The center has already constituted a group called IPv6 Implementation Group (IPIG) to speed up and facilitate adoption of IPv6 in the country.

A study commissioned by TRAI has revealed that India has merely 2.8 million IPv4 addresses compared to 40 million acquired by China. India has 0.17 of an address block, while the U.S. has full 75 blocks. The study said the Indian industry has not engaged into large-scale deployment of IPv6, and has a risk of lagging behind in this technology, if immediate steps are not taken.

According to TRAI’s consultation paper on transition from IPv4 to IPv6, the initial design of IPv4 developed about 25 years ago at the beginning of Internet, did not anticipate the exponential growth of the Internet and the impending exhaustion of the IPv4 address space, among others.

Major weakness of IPv4 is its limited addressing space, as in this an address consists of just 32 bits thereby limiting the total number of addresses to about two billion only; the perceived benefits of IPv6 is that it improves on the addressing capacities of IPv4 by using 128 bits, thereby making available an almost infinite pool of IP addresses.

According to the consultation paper, many countries including Japan, Korea, China and the U.S. have set up national IPv6 networks to enable the network operators and software developers to get a hands-on feel of this technology.

It also touches upon the need and benefits of having an Indian National Internet Registry, and creation of national IPv6 backbone (India next Generation Internet).

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