Nepal Telecommunications Authority (NTA) is going to study Internet Protocol version 6, a new addressing system that will allow more internet addresses to be assigned than the current version 4, which is the dominant communications protocol for most Internet traffic as of 2012.
“The new web addressing system — Internet Protocol version 6 — will succeed the present addressing system — Internet Protocol version 4 — that will run out of internet addresses in some years,” according to the regulator.
Each device on the Internet like a computer or mobile telephone, must be assigned an Internet Protocol — the primary protocol that establishes the Internet — address in order to communicate with other devices. With the ever-increasing number of new devices being connected to the Internet, there is a need for more addresses than the current version 4 can accommodate.
More than 100 countries throughout the world have already started the process of being migrated to the Internet Protocol version 6, assistant director at the authority Baburam Dawadi said, adding that the regulator has just started the process.
Internet Protocol version 4, which the country is using at present, will be exhausted due to excessive Internet users, he said. “All the countries should move to Internet Protocol version 6 before the current system will run out of addresses.”
‘Internet Protocol version 4 exhaustion’ doesn’t mean that the internet will stop working, instead, it describes when there will be no more unallocated addresses available.
According to Asia-Pacific Network Information Centre – which is the regional internet registry for the Asia-pacific region — Internet Protocol version 6 will replace the current version.
Asia Pacific Network Information Centre — the internet registry for India — has run out of Internet Protocol version 4 addresses with barely a few left for transition to Internet Protocol version 6. “The department of information and technology had directed all states and the central government to switch to Internet Protocol version 6 by March 2012 but the plan is still running behind schedule.”
The Authority will appoint expert to evaluate current situation and process of migration within a month. It has incorporated the plan of completing study in its yearly plan too, Dawadi said, adding that the authority will take concrete decision regarding migration by the end of current fiscal year.
Internet Protocol version 4 can support only about 4.29 billion IP addresses and newer devices may not be able to access the internet as the unique numbers run out. The IP address space is managed by the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority globally, and by five regional Internet registries responsible in their designated territories for assignment to end users and local Internet registries, such as Internet service providers.