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India leads the world in terms of IPv6 subscribers, says RM Agarwal, CMD, ITI

With over 50% share in next generation IP addresses, India now has the potential to create its own secured internet by setting up a root server locally for less than ₹10 crore, according to state-run ITI and industry platform IPv6 Forum.

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 limit of 3 billion IP addresses.

“The work on IPv6 started in 2006. India was last to implement IPv6 roadmap. It now has over 50 per cent market share in IPv6 address and leads the world in terms of subscribers,” ITI Chairman and Managing Director RM Agarwal told PTI.

He was responsible for driving the implementation of IPv6 adoption in the country under his portfolio as Deputy Director General, Network Technology at the Department of Telecom (DoT).
Internet works by connecting internet protocol (IP) addresses of websites, subscribers etc. Earlier IPv4 version of IP addresses was in work which are limited in numbers and not enough to cater to the growing demand of data services.
“There are only about 3 billion IPv4 addresses which are already exhausted whereas under IPv6 there are several trillions of IP addresses. Reliance Jio contributed in taking India to the leadership position. Each of Reliance Jio customers are connected through IPv6 address. We can now have our Aatmanirbhar secure internet. India can now set up its own root server with less than ₹10 crore,” IPv6 Forum chairman Satya N Gupta said.

He said IPv6 Forum is working to implement and expand IPv6 in India to develop the platform indigenously by using trusted devices. 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 1 each in Europe and Japan.
“The Internet will stop working if any of the root servers are switched off. With an indigenous root server, India can continue to communicate within its own jurisdiction. Government, industry and other stakeholders can jointly manage it. We want technocrats in India to develop IPv6 servers,” Gupta said.
He said industry alone can develop the server which will also enhance cyber security in the country.

“The National Internet Exchange of India (Nixi) already has expertise in IPv6. The company can develop native technologies on IPv6 and export them as well. Theoretically, every country will have its own root server,” Gupta said.
Agarwal said that ITI will conduct workshops for expansion of IPv6 technology in the country and also support other Asian countries.
“We were supported by other countries when we were in the first phase. Now it is our job to help others. IPv6 is pivotal for Digital India. To support 5G and related technologies like machine-to-machine, internet of things etc we need IPv6,” Agarwal said. PTI

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