Indian companies yet to move to new Internet address

by CXOtoday News Desk    Jun 13, 2013


The existing format of internet address of Indian enterprises, which is IPv4 will expire by 2014, to pave way for new format of addresses IPv6. Internet providers and network operations are prepared to offer internet connections and network devices to move to the new format. However, many Indian enterprises are still unprepared to make the switch.

The Department of Telecommunications had set a March 2012 deadline for public sector companies. And the RBI had given banks till December 2012 to upgrade all payment gateways to the new address format. However, two deadlines have been missed and reports say most ATMs and many bank Internet portals continue to work on the old format (IPv4).

Another issue is the incompatibility problem. The Internet ecosystem still exists on IPv4, but if devices are getting a new address in Ipv6, it will result in nearly every computer unable to access internet that has only IPv4 addresses and vice versa.

The issue can be fixed by migrating the entire network to Ipv6 with upgradation of the switches and routers along with ‘tunnelling software’ installed on the devices to buffer between IPv4 and IPv6 addresses.

Anuj Bhargava, founder of technology consulting firm AB Associates and an ex-Information Technology chief at HSBC Bank told Economic Times, “It is a hyped issue. It only requires some software to make the transition. Indian banks aren’t doing too much about it.” The DoT is planning campaigns, including a conference to be held in Mumbai in June to create awareness about the issue.

“We are trying to get the industry to understand it, but it is going to take time,” RM Agarwal, deputy director general -networking, DoT, who is handling the project told Economic Times.

The problem will persist when trying to access a bank’s site through mobile phone or tablets, which have new IPv6 addresses. They will be unable to use the website hosted on IPv4 address. Google has two websites hosted on an IPv4 address as well as IPv6. The government is also pushing for the new format due to higher security gained from the Ipv6 format. In the new format, every device is uniquely tagged, unlike IPv4 where several devices can share a single connection to the World Wide Web.