Nigeria drops in IPv6 visibility on internet

Internet-IPv6Nigeria has dropped in the ranking of telecommunications networks that are currently using internet protocol version 6 (IPv6), the latest communications protocol, compared to last year’s ranking, Nigeria CommunicationsWeek has learnt.

The country had four networks out of 103 Autonomous Systems (Ases) in the country using IPv6 as at end of June 2015, but this year as at end of May she has only three networks.

According to a survey conducted by Mohammed Rudman, chairman, Nigeria IPv6 Council, and obtained by Nigeria CommunicationsWeek, the three networks whose Ases are active includes MainOne Cable Company, Internet Solution Limited, and ipNX Nigeria Limited.

While Nigerian Research and Education Network (NREN) that was active last year has become inactive.He attributed this development to lack of technical know-how, core equipment compatibility issues, lack of IPv6 upstream service providers in the country and non-requests from end users among others.

He stated that for the use of IPv6 to grow in the country, there should be IPv6 awareness and capacity building through organizing seminars and trainings, incorporating IPv6 into university curriculum.

“In order to address these challenges that we the stakeholders in the industry came together to form Nigeria IPv6 Council aimed at joining forces with global Stakeholders to promote the adoption of a formidable Cyberspace address system that responds to the digital aspirations of future generations.

Whereas other countries of the world have progressed steadily in migrating from IPv4 to IPv6, and we recognize our ability and capability to propel our global competitiveness in this direction, we have pledged to achieve this goal, in co-operation with other key stakeholders to strive for the promotion, deployment, knowledge sharing and capacity building of IPv6 across the nation,” he stated.

He added that while Nigeria ranks dropped other African countries maintained their ranking such as South Africa which has 46 networks active out of 201 Ases representing 22.88%, Mauritius 11 out of 16 Ases representing 68.75% and Kenya 11 out of 60 Ases representing 18.89%.

“However, IPv4 and IPv6 are not directly compatible. This means that network and content operators need to make their networks and websites available over both IPv4 and IPv6 for the foreseeable future so that everyone can access the Internet whether they are using an IPv4 or an IPv6 address to do so”.

Reacting to this development, Engr. Lanre Ajayi, immediate past president, Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria (ATCON), said that the low ranking is as a result of lack of awareness and appropriate regulatory framework.

“A lot of the networks do not see the need or benefit to migrate even as they have the equipment, if the regulatory body gives a period for migration it will be of a great help,” he said.

He also identified lack of trained network engineers that will manage IPv6 networks.” It is against this backdrop that ATCON in partnership with AFRINIC have been organizing IPv6 training for network engineers for the past four years to provide qualified engineers in the industry for smooth migration from IPv4 to IPv6,” he added.

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