Byron Holland is President and Chief Executive Officer of the Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA). View bio
Last week India proved that the real driving force for the Internet could be shifting from the developed world to the developing world when the Indian government announced that that it will introduce IPv6 by 2012. All telcos and ISPs in India will have to be IPv6 compliant by the end of 2011 and offer IPv6 services in 2012.
Of course, there’s a greater urgency for India to adopt IPv6 than Canada or the rest of the developed world. As far as address blocks go, we received more than our share back in the beginning, as addresses were not uniformly distributed. And, the proliferation of mobile devices and access to broadband in India and China will further drive demand for IP addresses in parts of the world that lost out on IP address distribution in the beginning.
Although India has more to lose than Canada does with regard to delaying adoption of IPv6, we’re going to pay the price for complacency if we don’t act soon. While I don’t necessarily agree that “the end of the world has arrived”, the fact is we’re running out of IPv4 addresses. The American Registry for Internet Numbers (ARIN) reports that less than 10 per cent of IPv4 address space remains, meaning that there’s about a year before this space is exhausted.
In CIRA’s submission (.PDF) to Industry Canada’s Digital Economy consultation, we state the importance of IPv6 adoption in Canada, and we recommend governments in Canada take a leadership role by leveraging its purchasing power to stimulate IPv6 adoption in Canada. It’s going to be expensive, but time is running out. The end of the world may not be here yet, but we ignore IPv6 at our peril.
I think we’re on the verge of a new trend. The developing world, which has for so long taken second place with regard to technology development and adoption, is becoming the leader.
What do you think about India’s move to adopt IPv6?