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DoT fixes Dec 2022 deadline for transition to new IP addresses

The Department of Telecom has fixed December 2022 as the deadline for internet service providers to customise their network as well as change modem and routers at customers’ premises for the services as per the internet protocol address IPv6.

The DoT has set June 30, 2022, as the last date for government organisation for complete transition to IPv6, according to an official note issued on November 2.

“All new retail wireline customer connections provided by service providers after December 31, 2022, shall be capable of carrying IPv6 traffic either on dual stack on native IPv6,” the note said.

The IP addresses help in identifying and connecting various devices and servers onto the internet.

The DoT had released the first and second roadmap to roll out IPv6 addresses in the country in 2010 and 2012 which can grant several trillions of unique internet addresses unlike the old regime of IPv4 which has a limit of 3 billion IP addresses.

The growth in the number of devices connecting to the internet has fuelled demand for IPv6 addresses.

“The service providers shall endeavour to progressively replace/upgrade the CPEs (customer premises equipment) which are not IPv6 ready and are owned by service providers latest by December 31, 2022,” the note said.

India now has around 50 per cent share in IPv6 addresses globally.

“The transition to IPv6 even with a dual stack mode will help in growth of internet usage especially in the context of work from home as well IoT ecosystem and upcoming 5G services because of the requirement of an enormous IP address which is not available with IPv4. In addition, transition to IPv6 will enhance the network security because of built-in ‘IPsec’ feature in the verison 6,” IPv6 Forum chairman Satya N Gupta said.

With proliferation of IPv6 addresses, India can create its own secure internet by setting up its own root servers for communication within the country’s geographical boundaries.

At present, there are 13 root servers which play a vital role in working on the internet globally. 11 root servers are located in the US and one each in Europe and Japan. Under the present global regime, the internet can stop working if any of the root servers are switched off.

Gupta said that with an indigenous root server, India can continue to communicate within its own jurisdiction after transition to IPv6.

“The US has already decided to switch off IPv4 addresses by 2024,” he said.

The deadline to shift to IPv6 has been extended several times in the past.

The DoT in March 2013 decided that the websites of all government organisations maintained by NIC shall be transited to IPv6 (dual stack) by December 2012. All new wireline connections to be provided after June 2014 should have been on IPv6 or should have supported both IPv4 and IPv6 addresses.

The timeline was deferred to December 2017 for government organisations to switch their system to IPv6, changing of CPEs compliant with IPv6 by December 2017 and shifting of websites to IPv6 compliant servers by January 2017.

The last deadline fixed by DoT for IPv6 migration for government organisation was March 2020 and December 2020 for other stakeholders but still the target remained unmet. PTI



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