[AfrICANN-discuss] Africa hopes to leapfrog other regions in IPv6 adoption

Anne-Rachel Inné annerachel at gmail.com
Wed Jul 8 08:51:17 SAST 2009

Africa hopes to leapfrog other regions in IPv6 adoption  Rebecca Wanjiku
07.07.2009 kl 19:13 | IDG News Service


Africa's lag behind other regions in technology may actually serve to ensure
a faster Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6) adoption

Africa's lag behind other regions in technology may actually serve to ensure
a faster Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6) adoption.

The pool of available IPv4 addresses is expected to run out by 2011 because
of global broadband uptake and the expected growth of Internet access in

Other regions have been slow to adopt IPv6 because of huge investments in
legacy systems and the lack of clear business gains from adopting the new
version, but many African countries have few or no such headaches. In
Africa, the main reason is a lack of actual investment in technology as well
as a lack of awareness from existing ISPs and other businesses in the chain.

"The rate of IPv6 adoption in Africa seems to be higher than in other
regions. It seems that this may be an area where being behind can help us
get ahead," said Calvin Brown, a director at UniForum, the administrator of
the .co.za domain name.

The move to raise awareness about the next-generation Internet Protocol has
taken concerted efforts between governments, regional bodies and the private

The Internet Society (ISOC) and AfriNIC, a coordinating body that allocates
IP addresses and related autonomous system numbers to carriers and
enterprises in Africa, have been conducting technical training on IPv6 while
governments and ICT stakeholders in specific countries raise awareness
within those nations.

"ISOC is working with AfriNIC to ensure that the critical Internet
infrastructure like Internet eXchange Points and country code Top Level
Domains are IPv6-ready," said Michuki Mwangi, ISOC senior education manager.

AfriNIC has set up a virtual IPv6 lab that is used by educational
institutions in Africa as a testbed to increase IPv6 hands-on experience in
the region. According to AfriNIC, IPv4 allocations have been on the decline
and countries have started taking up IPv6, while Kenya and South Africa are
leading in IPv6 allocations.

Kenya is also one of the countries leading in IPv6 awareness and adoption --
the .ke domain registry is IPv6-capable, and the registry managers are
working with the government to train and sensitize on the need for IPv6

"Kenic, the .ke registry operator, deployed IPv6 to the .ke name servers in
2006 and has been running a test bed since 2005," said Vincent Ngundi,
administrative manager at Kenic. The Kenyan government has insisted that
IPv6 adoption is a top priority and set up a national task force to set
strategies for awareness, capacity building, research and development, IPv6
implementation, and deployment and policy issues that should be put in
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