" ITREALMS: Nigeria needs Internet Registry – Rudman

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Nigeria needs Internet Registry – Rudman

Managing Director, Internet eXchange Point Nigeria Limited (IXNP), Mr. Muhammed Rudman, has advocated for the establishment of a National Internet Registry (NIR) to oversee the management of Internet Protocol (IP) addresses in the country.

Internet Protocol address is a numerical label assigned to devices participating in a computer network that use the Internet to communicate with each other.

Also referred to as ‘IP number’ or just ‘IP,’ this code usually consists of numbers separated by three dots that identifies a particular computer on the Internet. IP started with IP version 4 (IPv4) with 32 bit address worth 4.3 billion hosts and now there is version 6, (IPv6).

He also said that registry when established should be tasked first and foremost to develop a National IPv6 Roadmap to strategize the IPv6 transition, nationwide.

Speaking on ‘IPv6 and Challenges in Nigeria’ at the recently held one-day forum organized by Digital Sense Africa (DSA) with the support of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) in Lagos, in preparation of the country for the global Internet Governance Forum 2010 scheduled to hold in Lithuania, in September this year, Mr. Rudman also said there is need to set up an IPv6 awareness and capacity building through seminars and trainings and incorporate IPv6 into the university curriculum.

The Federal Government through the regulator, NCC, should as matter of urgency provide some incentives to Internet industry to encourage them to adopt IPv6-based Infrastructure.

“These incentives can include reduction in regulatory fee and tax rebates,” he declared, noting that currently, Nigeria has about 300 lnternet Service Providers (ISPs), but only an estimated 20 per cent, which is 60 of the licensees are operational.

Noting there are only two ISPs in the country with IPv6, namely, 2001:4270:: 32 was allocated to Netcom Africa on June 15, 2006 and 2001:43b0: 32 was allocated to Cyberspace on March 10, 2009.

He also advised that upstream Internet connectivity providers should be asked to enable IPv6 readiness in their networks.

Mr. Rudman told participants at the forum presided over by the chairman, Internet Service Providers Associations of Nigeria (ISPAN), Chief Samuel Adeleke that the world cannot wait for Nigeria to migrate, therefore the nation needs every step forward to ensure any leap makes a milestone.

Pointing out that when the internet began it was in a university and they have no problems giving out IP addresses and over time, the initial IP addresses available was the IPv4 with about 4bn, which is now depleting.

Globally, he said, IPv4 remains 10 per cent, hence the introduction of version 6 became crucial, noting though that in Africa her quota is still remaining about 60 per cent at the African Network Information Center (AfriNIC) based in Kenya and 40 per cent has been distributed, while Tunisia has 2 per cent, Morocco 4 per cent, Algeria 5 per cent, Egypt 16 per cent, South Africa 59 per cent with others including Nigeria having 14 per cent.

“Most of the Internet security we have been talking about has to do with IP addresses. And because of billions of new users in China and India and new devices like mobile phones, Personal Data Assistant (PDA), cars, with IP addresses so that you can browse, IPv6 was introduced,” he said, citing an instance within an Indian refinery that runs on IP addresses using 51,000 devices and each one must have an IP addresses.

On the IPv6 challenges in Nigeria, Rudman said ISPs need business cases, but presently lack technical knowhow, core equipment compatibility issues, maintaining that lack of IPv6 upstream service providers and non request of IPv6 from end users have contributed to slow in adaptation of IPv6 in the country.

“All new IT equipment supplied to government should be IPv6 compliant and government to set target date for Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to have IPv6 compliant networks.

IPv6, he said, is scalability and has security, real time application, auto-configuration, mobility, addressing and routing, as well as extensibility, just as he assured that the transition and co-existence techniques showed that IPv6 has been designed for ease application with dual stack, which allows for simultaneous support for both IPv4 and IPv6 stacks, while the tunnels for IPv6 packet have been encapsulated in IPv4 models in addition to dual mechanism for translation.

According to him, based on the Darwinian imperative, it is either one modernizes, reorganize or die if not ready to adhere to IPv6.

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