The Government has set a deadline of December 2011 for major telecom operators to adopt the next generation protocol for Internet services in the country. Called Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6), the new standard will offer improved address space, quality of service and data security capabilities.
IPv4, the existing version of address platform is already overburdened in India with 18.4 million registered addresses and is expected to exhaust the available space globally by March 2012 as consumers increasingly use broadband and net services on mobile devices.
All Central and State Government Ministries and Departments, including its PSUs, will switchover to IPv6 services only by March 2012.
IPv6 is expected to remove the limitations pertaining to IP addresses that are prevalent in the current regime.
The Government has also decided to form an IPv6 task force in public-private partnership (PPP) mode for timely implementation. This was disclosed by the Minister of Communications and Information Technology, Mr A. Raja, while releasing the National IPv6 Deployment Roadmap.
The important issue of transition from IPv4 to IPv6 in the country has emerged has a critical concern for quite some time in view of the increasing demand for IP addresses and global scarcity of free space on IPv4 platform. IPv6 has 128 bits as compared to the limited addressing space of only 32 bits in IPv4.