By Tom Noda
As addresses using IPv4 (Internet Protocol version 4) begin to run out, technology investors and stakeholders in the Philippines and Asia Pacific are being urged to transition to IPv6 in order to maintain a scalable Internet for the region.
Anna Mulingbayan, senior internet resource analyst and liaison officer in South East Asia at Asia Pacific Network Information Center (APNIC), said in a forum last April that the Internet industry is at a critical point.
“Some may be left behind if their organization does not learn how to provide both IPv4 and IPv6 services,” Mulingbayan said.
Since 2007, many organizations and individuals around the world have predicted the end of IPv4, which is limited to 32 bits for IP address space, and that the solution is IPv6, which has 128 bits or trillions of IP address capacities.
Recent reports revealed there are only 15 million addresses left in the IPv4 system.
Mulingbayan said the Philippines was in 53rd place in the recent world rankings of IPv6 ready websites. The top 10 countries are Vanuatu, Czech Republic, Maldives, Central African Republic, Slovenia, Brazil, Singapore, Gabon, US, and Azerbaijan.
She noted that IPv6 deployment status varies among regions, economies, and network operators.
“IPv6 deployment is not happening all at once. Some economies have been very active in terms of IPv6 deployment, while some ASNs (network operators) have been very active in terms of IPv6,” Mulingbayan said.
Among the governments listed in the AP region that have been consistently upholding their IPv6 initiatives are China, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore, Taiwan, and the Philippines.
The Philippines is also awaiting the completion of the government?s IPv6-enabled network before the current year is done.
The government?s research arm, the Advanced Science and Technology Institute (ASTI) of the Department of Science and Technology, has been conducting IPv6 trials since 1999 via the AI3 (Asian Internet Interconnection Initiatives) project.
In 2003, the IPv6-enabled research network Preginet or Philippine Research, Education and Government Information Network was born. Four years later in 2007, an IPv6-enabled local Internet exchange called PHOpenIX was launched.
Describing the Internet as “a highly diverse and flexible amalgam of many components,” Mulingbayan said there is no single migration strategy that will apply to all players.
But, she said support for IPv6 can come in the form of deployments of LTE (long term evolution) networks, as this new wireless technology requires IPv6-enabled services.
APNIC, which the Internet registry for the Asia Pacific region, said the key success factor for IPv6 transition is information sharing and continuous collaboration among multi-stakeholders of the Internet.
The organization said the scarcity of IPv4 makes IPv6 deployment critical for all networks and organizations in Asia Pacific.