BY JUMOKE OWOOLA
The need to migrate from the Internet Protocol Version 4 (IPV4) to IPV6 in order to deepen internet penetration in the country was the major reason for The African Network Information Centre (AFRINIC) in partnership with the Nigeria Internet Registration Association (NIRA), Association of Telecom Companies of Nigeria (ATCON) and the University of Ibadan to come together to organize a workshop few days ago for the Internet Service Providers (USPs) and content producers in Nigeria.
Welcoming the participants to the workshop, NIRA’s President, Rev. Sunday Folayan, said the new internet protocol, IPv6 would open a pool of Internet addresses that is about a billion-trillion times larger than the total pool of IPv4 address, which he said is about 4.3 billion addresses. He added that the number of IPV6 is virtually inexhaustible for the foreseeable growth of the domain name system due the opening of the new gTLDs and the emerging Internet of Things (IoTs).
“Most developed world have already embraced IPv6 competing for positions in the global ranking on IPv6 adoption, saying that the major content producers such as Google, Facebook, Microsoft, have all adapted IPv6 giving the opportunity to IPv6 networks access to their content.
“One of the challenges identified for lack of IPv6 adoption in Nigeria is the lack of the required technical skills. I believe the training will expose participants further to the need for IPv6 and will equip them with the right set of skills to assist their various organisations to migrate to IPv6 so that Nigeria will occupy it’s rightful position in the global IPv6 ranking”
Folayan went further that most of the developed world has already embraced IPv6 with country competing for positions in the global ranking on IPv6, but unfortunately, most African countries are late on this migration with Nigeria particularly lagging behind even within Africa.
“This should not be taken lightly, considering that we have the largest number of Internet users in Africa. For example, out of 103 Autonomous System Numbers registered in Nigeria only four are live on IPv6; yet the four are not propagating it properly on the net. Over 30 organisations have acquire IPv6 from AFRINIC but most of them are not using it,” He concluded with much concern.
In his own vein, ATCON President, Olusola Teniola who was represented by its pioneer Vice President, Eng. Anthony Nwosu opined that the need to migrate to IPv6 is long overdue and that the majority of networks in Nigeria are not IPv6 compatible, which is already posing huge threat to the Nigerian ICT development.
“Other reasons the ATCON has invested and still investing heavily in the adoption of IPv6, is to increase the productivity and contribution level of our network engineers in the implementation and deployment of IPv6 for Nigerian ICT/telecoms development, in order to enhance the performance of our network engineers on network management with the ultimate goal of ensuring the sustainable growth of the Nigeria telecom industry,” Teniola’s representative revealed.
Muhammed Rudman, the Managing Director, Internet eXchange Point of Nigeria (IXPN) who is also the Vice President of NIRA (who spoke for AFRINIC), said most of ISPs in Nigeria did not want to migrate from IPv64 to IPv6 because they thought it would not give them any economic value. He however called on ISPs to embrace the adoption of the new IPv6 due of its advantages.
“This workshop is organised to enhance the capacity of people and to encourage the adoption of ipv6 in Nigeria”.Rudman said.
The Acting Director general of NITDA, Dr. Vincent Olatunji who declared the workshop closed said that his organization will always support any good idea that can promote ICT in Nigeria.
Participants were drawn from all over the country.