Council identifies challenges limiting Nigeria’s migration to IPv6
The Internet Protocol version Six (IPv6) Council Nigeria, has stressed the need for speedy adoption of the protocol in the country.The council, which identified lack of the required technical skills, core, metro and edge equipment compatibility issues, lack of IPv6 upstream service providers, stressing that most service providers do not understand the business case for the migration among others, noted however, that failure to migrate would slow growth progress of the ICT sector.
The Council Chairman, Muhammad Rudman, made these disclosures during a courtesy visit to the Executive Vice Chairman (EVC) of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta at NCC Headquarters in Abuja, last Thursday. He said the world of Internet is going out of Internet Protocol version Four (IPv4) addresses, this is a fact as Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) has allocated the remaining eight IPv4 address blocks to each of the five Regional Internet Registries (RIR) namely AP-NIC, RIPE-NCC, AFRI-NIC, ARIN and LACNIC since 2011.
He explained that the new Internet Protocol (IPv6) will open a pool of Internet addresses that is a billion-trillion times larger than the total pool of IPv4 address, which is about 4.3 billion, pointing out that this means the number of IPv6 addresses is virtually inexhaustible for the foreseeable future.This, he noted would address the need of the ever expanding world population, the growth of the domain name system due to the opening of the new generic Top Level Domains (gTLDs) and the emerging Internet of Things (IoT).
Rudman also said that IPv6 preserves everything good in today’s Internet, and much more, such as stateless auto-configuration, seamless mobility, automated network management, end to end security and new optional service levels.He equally said most of the developed world has already embraced IPv6, with countries competing for positions in the global ranking on IPv6 adoption, lamenting that Nigeria is lacking so far.
“Unfortunately, most of the African countries are late on this mass migration, with Nigeria particularly lagging behind even within the continent, this should not be taken lightly considering that we have the largest number of Internet users in Africa, and the seventh in the world. For example, out of the 103 Autonomous System Numbers registered in Nigeria only four are live on IPv6, even the four are not propagating it properly on the net. It is noteworthy to mention that over 30 organisations have acquired IPv6 from AfriNIC but most of them are not using it,” he said.
Rudman, who is also the Chief Executive Officer, Internet Exchange Point of Nigeria (IXPN) disclosed that major content producers such as Google, Facebook, Microsoft have all adopted IPv6 giving the opportunity to IPv6 networks access to their contents.
He listed some of the challenges identified for the lack of IPv6 adoption in Nigeria to include lack of the required technical skills, core, metro and edge equipment compatibility issues, lack of IPv6 upstream service providers most service providers do not understand the business case for the migration among others.
Rudman, who was accompanied by the Council Vice Chairman, Chris Uwaje; Mrs. Mary Uduma, member and Chairman of the Communications and Advocacy Committee (CAC) of the Council, Remmy Nweke, said that to address some of these challenges, the IPv6 Council Nigeria has perfected plans to commence free regular trainings to organisations and individuals interested in IPv6, registration for such trainings have already commenced via the council’s website.
“We hope that these trainings would expose the participants with right set of skills to assist their various organisations migrate to IPv6 so that Nigeria can occupy its rightful position in the global IPv6 readiness,” he said.
Rudman reiterated the Council’s commitment to the advancement and promotion of IPv6 best practices and lessons learned in Nigeria, with a mission to provide technical leadership and innovative thought for the successful integration of IPv6 into all facets of networking and telecommunications infrastructure, present and future.
In his remarks, EVC Danbatta assured the Council of NCC’s to encourage telecoms operators to key into IPv6 deployment in the country and through facilitation of capacity building workshops, pointing that it may be difficult to identify all the challenges hindering IPv6 adoption in Nigeria.
Danbatta was optimistic that the Commission will work with the Council on strategic plans which must involve the stakeholders, stressing that the Council constitution is timely and will grow adoption as well as usage of IPv6 in the country, in addition to putting in place the legal guidelines to ensure companies in the sector and beyond buy into the initiative.
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