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‘Slow IPv6 migration will affect Nigeria’s Internet access’

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The lukewarm attitude of Nigeria towards migration from Internet Protocol version Four (IPv4) to Internet Protocol version Six (IPv6) has been described as dangerous for the health of the country’s Information and Communications Technology (ICT) sector.

While the IPv4 is fast becoming exhausted and countries now switching to the new IP system because of its largeness and elasticity, there appears to be little or no preparation from Nigeria.

Deploying IPv6 infrastructure can help businesses improve network performance and assure optimal performance within the network architecture, especially in ensuring secured network.

The Guardian gathered that IPv6 is the only technology currently available to directly connect large numbers of people and devices, as there are not enough unique addresses to give every mobile device a true end-to-end Internet presence.

Speaking at the weekend in Lagos, at the 2017 Nigeria Mobile Economy Summit and Expo (NiMES), organised by the Centre for Cyber Awareness and Development (CECAD) with support from the Federal Ministry of Communications, the Director-General, Delta State Innovation Hub, Chris Uwaje, noted that Nigeria is slow in the adoption and use of new technologies.

Uwaje, who gave the keynote speech, lamented that the 2016 e-Readiness Index released by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) showed this clearly when it ranked Nigeria 119 out of 139, saying that the country is slow in adopting and adjusting to new technologies.

Uwaje, who blamed this gap on factors including inconsistent policy by leadership; lack of Inclusiveness strategy (Disconnect of Government-Industry and Academia; limited capacities and capabilities of service providers to timely engage the challenges; public awareness gap; uninformed user community and stakeholders and limited ICT research and development, funding mechanism among others.

Uwaje, a former President, Institute of Software Practitioners of Nigeria (ISPON), proposed a two-year inclusive plan for Nigeria’s migration to IPv6.

According to him, there should be an appropriate blueprint from the Federal Government that will guide Nigeria’s migration, stressing that IPv6, among others is more attractive for future Internet applications compared to IPv4; has multi access that enhance life mobility; has greatly expanded address space and has potential for socio-economic benefits.

Giving more insight into the matter, the President, Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria (ATCON), Olusola Teniola, said networks’ snail-pace to adopting IPv6 poses a threat to Nigerian ICT development.

Teniola stressed that the Nigerian ICT sector can no longer afford to take the back seat in the global ICT development.

To leapfrog the adoption of IPv6, he said, the Association has taken a further step to involve the two key major stakeholders –the Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC) and the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) “and we are happy that these two important government establishments have bought into the future we are trying to create around the Nigerian ICT space.”


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