Indian Registry for Internet Names and Numbers (IRINN) has started issuing IPv6 (Internet Protocol version 6) Internet addresses in the country, reports PTI (via The Hindu). IRINN is a division under National Internet Exchange of India (NIXI) which manages the allocation and registration of Internet resources like Internet Protocol addresses (IPv4 & IPv6) and Autonomous System numbers.

Citing National Internet Exchange of India (NIXI) CEO Dr.Govind, the report mentions that the organization soft launched this initiative to test its compatibility with software and hardware needed to support IPv6, since it is not backward compatible with IPv4. Going forward, the organization plans to release industrial grade IPv6 addresses in the next few months.

Govind stated that IRINN is currently offering these addresses for Rs 21,999, a 60% discount from the existing rates of Rs 66,000 in the Asia Pacific region, although it is not clear on how much will these addresses cost when its commercially launched.

IPv6 Implementation

In June 2012, the Internet protocol had officially switched from IPv4 to IPv6, to enable more IP addresses on network and on the occasion of the World IPv6 Launch Day, all major Internet Service Providers, networking equipment manufacturers and web companies were planning to work together to permanently enable IPv6 for their products and services.

IPv6 currently allows 340 undecillion (2^128) addresses as compared to mere 4.30 billion IP addresses possible on IPv4 and according to a statement from the Indian government, the country claimed a user base of about 360 million data users (ED: this may not be true) and had 35 million IPv4 addresses as of June 2012. The government had planned to shift to IPv6 protocol so as to assign an unique IP address to each individual data user, for security purposes, which IPv4 protocol could not fulfill.

IPv6 Adoption

During the launch event in June 2012, Internet companies like Google, Facebook, Bing, Yahoo, Akamai had announced that they had permanently switched to IPv6 for their products and services while network operators like AT&T, KDDI and Time Warner Cable had enabled IPv6 by default for its new subscribers and were looking to enable this protocol to existing customers. Tata Communications had also adopted the new standard in June 2012.

This followed a global trial of IPv6 from Internet companies, Internet service providers and networking equipment manufacturers in June 2011.

In order to adopt IPv6 in India, Department of Telecommunication (DoT) had introduced a policy document titled ‘National IPv6 Deployment Roadmap’ (pdf) in July 2010. For the same, an IPv6 test bed had been installed by Telecom Engineering Centre (TEC), a technical wing of DoT, to adopt explicit IPv6 harmonisation across the entire ecosystem. In order to address various problems being faced by the stakeholders regarding IP address allocation from APNIC, the National Internet Registry (NIR) has been also approved by APNIC in India for allocation of IPv6 address in a systematic manner with a big pool to cater to all future requirements.

In June 2012, the government had however noted that ISPs and web portals will have to continue to support both IPv4 and IPv6 protocols and ISP may have to provide a network in which the two protocols will be operating side by side.

Earlier in the month, the Reserve Bank of India had directed that all payment gateways, and online infrastructure including websites of institutions such as banks, financial institutions and insurance companies should complete the migration from IPv4 to IPv6, tentatively by December 2012.

Related:

– India Targets 160M Broadband Users By 2017, 600M By 2020; IPv6 Implementation 
Akamai Report: Avg Connection Speed In India At 1Mbps; 18.99 Million IPv6 Addresses Globally
RBI Updates: Open To Raising $3000 Cap On Global eCommerce Deals, Migration To IPv6