The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has recommended to the government for the establishment a National Internet Registry (NIR) utilising the existing set-up of National Internet Exchange of India (NIXI) and implement IPv6 in its own e-governance projects, thus encouraging the migration from IPv4 to IPv6.
Last month, speaking with exchange4media, TRAI Chairman Pradeep Baijal had said that some stakeholders had reservations in the regulatory body taking a proactive role in pushing migration to the IPv6 regime. TRAI has now recommended that migration to IPv6 should not be mandated but facilitated by the government.
IPv6 or Internet Protocol Version 6 is the next generation Internet protocol, which will replace the current version of Internet Protocol, IPv4. This will tackle the problem of growing shortage of IP addresses and ensure better security due to its inbuilt features.
IPv4 uses only 32 bits for address space as compared to 128 bits of IPv6 and, therefore, provides enormous addressing capabilities. With the greater demand for IP addresses due to increased broadband penetration and with Internet users aspiring for better quality of service, mobility and security, the necessity for an upgraded internet protocol version was inevitable.
In the draft recommendations on ‘Transition from IPv4 to IPv6 in India’, the regulatory body has recommended that the government should initiate the necessary process for establishment of a National Internet Registry (NIR) in the country to provide better services to local ISPs requiring Internet resources and implement operational procedures which suite local environment and culture.
“This should be done in accordance with framework for NIRs by APNIC, the Regional Internet Registry (RIR) for Asia Pacific Region,” it said.
“To start with NIXI, National Internet Exchange of India, can be considered to be entrusted with this activity as it is already dealing with .IN domain name and is also a not-for-profit, autonomous body with industry participation,” TRAI observed.
TRAI further recommended to the government to use NIXI platform as a test bed for IPv6 implementation. “The scope of NIXI needs to be enlarged. The platform for NIXI can be used as an IPv6 test bed. For this purpose, all the 4 nodes of NIXI need to be interconnected, their routers upgraded to IPv6 and also .IN server to be upgraded to be capable of handling IPv6.”
Such test bed will help identify large-scale deployment issues and transition mechanisms, evaluate various technologies and develop applications and solutions, in addition to competence building in the country.
TRAI said that the government should take the lead role in migration to IPv6 and through mandating IPv6 compatibility in its own procurement of IT systems, networks and e-governance projects.
TRAI also recommended to the government to ensure that additional cost required to migrate from Ipv4 to Ipv6 should be partially offset by reducing customs and other duties on 25 software and hardware required for this migration, which might help ISPs and other stakeholders.