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Address angst in cyberspace

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By OUR SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT in Delhi
  • Published 26.08.05
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New Delhi, Aug. 26: The telecom regulator is stepping in to deal with a cyberspace address crunch.

The problem has arisen because the present sytem ? Internet Protocol (IPv4) ? will not be able to hand out cyber addresses just when a broadband user boom kicks in.

Internet protocol (IP) is a unique address that is allocated to any website. It works on the principle of a postal system, broadly speaking, as it enables the software to identify it correctly.

The Broadband Policy 2004 envisages 3 million broadband subscribers by the end of 2005. The number is projected to rise to 9 million by 2007 and 20 million by 2010. The current system will probably cave in when the clamour for cyber addresses turns strident.

As a part of its initiative to spur the growth of broadband in the country, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) issued a consultation paper to deliberate on various issues relating to transition from the Internet Protocol 4(IPv4) to IPv6 in the country.

Trai officials said the regulator felt that the country would soon require a large number of IP addresses because of the surge in demand for 'always-on' broadband connections.

IPv6 is a next generation Internet protocol. It has the capacity to expand the available address space on the Internet enormously and ensure better quality of service. In addition, IPv6 is designed to promote greater flexibility, functionality and enhanced security.

The telecom watchdog issued a consultation paper today seeking comments from all on the move to introduce IPv6.

The paper provides the necessary platform for discussing the various related issues like facilitating the role of the regulator, policy initiative required, need for national IPv6 test bed, establishing national agency for managing IP addresses and IPv6 transition strategy for service providers. In addition, some of the examples of successful implementation from other countries have been included.

?The initiative of Trai is to complement the efforts of Department of Information Technology (DIT) towards the country?s transition to IPV6. Comments from all the stakeholders will be solicited by September 23, 2005,? the telecom regulator said.