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India appoints ‘IP Guru’ to push nation towards IPv6

Three-pronged adoption drive includes cut-price courseware

India has launched a national IPv6 drive.

A joint initiative of the nation’s Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology and Ministry of Department of Telecommunications, the effort will be run out of the National Internet Exchange of India (NIXI) and aims to educate locals about the benefits of IPv6.

An IPv6 Expert Panel – branded “IP Guru” – has been appointed, with a remit to “extend support to all the Indian entities who are finding it technically challenging to migrate and adopt IPv6.” The Panel has been tasked with “identifying & hiring [an] agency that will help end customer by providing necessary technical support to adopt IPv6.”

Another activity is a new NIXI Academy that already offers a 14-hour online course covering IPv6 Fundamental Design and Deployment that costs just $2.70. The Academy has listed courses on advanced IPv6 and DNS as “coming soon”.

NIXI has also scraped APNIC data to create an IPv6 index that compares Indian adoption with other nations.

“This portal will motivate organisations to adopt IPv6, provide inputs for planning by technical organisations and research by academicians,” says a statement issued in the name of MeitY secretary Shri Ajay Prakash Sawhney.

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The statement and NIXI’s pages don’t explain why India needs this push, or why the nation has chosen this moment to launch it.

But it’s not hard to guess why: the Telecon Regulatory Authority of India reports the nation had 776 million internet subscriptions as of September 2020, while the March 2021 data dump [PDF] revealed that the nation has 1.159bn wireless phone subscriptions.

With IPv4 addresses harder to find these days, carrier-grade network address translation having its limits, and India having big ambitions for 5G IoT, getting to IPv6 and its immense address space has obvious appeal. ®

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