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New Zealand struggling to be IPv6 ready

  • 17 April 2011
  • Written by 
  • Published in Strategy

The head of InternetNZ, Vikram Kumar, has called on the Government to take a lead in IPv6 adoption, saying that, in the absence of any Government funding to assist with the transition, industry groups are under increasing pressure.

Kumar's comments come as APNIC announces rationing of the very limited number of IPv4 addresses available, saying that judicious use of these remaining addresses will be essential to enable the transition to IPv6.

New Zealand IPv6 Task Force convenor, Murray Milner, said the speed at which APNIC's reserves had been depleted had taken many by surprise. "2011 is the crunch year for Internet addressing. Now is the time for organisations to act to adopt IPv6 on their networks."

Kumar said: "The IPv6 Task Force has taken a leadership role in supporting adoption of IPv6 in New Zealand. It offers valuable assistance to industry sectors to minimise risk and cost of IPv6 adoption, in the face of IPv4 exhaustion. [However] The Ministry of Economic Development (MED) has discontinued funding of the IPv6 Task Force, preferring a purely industry-led response instead.

"InternetNZ has been a consistent supporter of the IPv6 Task Force and has therefore increased the amount of funding it provides to help plug the gap'¦We have stepped up our annual funding of the Task Force by about 30 percent to $NZ90,000 to enable it to continue its fantastic efforts.

"However, even with that, the Task Force really needs the wider industry to pitch in. Many industry organisations and individuals are making a significant contribution but now is the time to respond to the dual challenge of zero Government funding and imminent IPv4 address exhaustion."

He called on the Government to "act as a leader in deploying IPv6'¦There is some great work being done in leading by example but there is room for more, such as publication of an IPv6 roadmap for Government departments." He noted that, unlike some countries the New Zealand Government "will not go down the path of forced implementation or setting target dates."

New Zealand was somewhat tardy in planning to the inevitable transition to IPv6. In June 2007 the country took its first concrete steps towards IPv6 when NZRS (.nz Registry Services) upgraded is .nz name servers to support IPv6 addresses and introduced an IPv6 capable Whois server.

NZRS general manager, Nick Griffin, told Exchange at the time: "our shareholder Internet NZ is keen to get some momentum behind IPv6 and in the past 12 months there have been discussions among the network operators, but at present there is a lack of commercial IPv6 transit. We had to use tunnels from or sites to the Ipv6 exchange."

In contrast Australia held its first planning meeting on IPv6 in October 2005 and in June 2006 ISOC-AU, auDA, the Australian Electrical and Electronic Manufacturers Association (AEEMA) and BuildersNet Pty Ltd launched a joint project with Federal Government funding to develop new business models for adoption of IPv6 and tools for transition planning.

In its 10 year IT vision statement for Australia, released in early 2007,NICTA included a goal that Australia be one of the first nations to gain the benefits from migrating to IPv6.



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