Today is World IPv6 day

In January, it was announced that the first generation of internet addresses, commonly known as Internet Protocol version 4 was depleted. Globally, organizations can only use the new generation- IP version 6. But in Africa, we still had a block of IPv4 remaining and will continue using until its fully depleted and I wrote an article to that effect.

The next big news has been in the lead-up to today- World IPv6 day. Today, major content providers like Google, Yahoo, Facebook, Akamai and hardware manufacturers will offer IPv6 only services and test how the internet infrastructure will behave for the next 24 hours. In Africa, this test flight will be led mainly by mobile services providers who by default have become major content carriers. You can read more about it here.

While the internet will not be interrupted for many running on IPv4, am sure we are all wondering whats the fuss is all about if there will be no effects. You can read 10 things to know about IPv6 here.

Yes, Safaricom and MTN Business say that their core network is IPv6 ready, but is it available to end users? You can test if you are on IPv6 or not by clicking here.

The expectation was that Africa would take up IPv6 faster than it has and the main question is why it hasn’t. My observation is that we wait until last minute, until there will be no v4 or until transit carriers say that it all has to be on v6. Its more like the way most of us have no routine of organizing routine maintenance of our health until there is a scare and we have to do it. Maybe its the same, until its said that until all is v6 ready, nothing will happen, Africa may not implement.

There has been many arguments on why IPv6 is great but one thing it might do is raise the connectivity visibility because every gadget will have its address; from your smart fridge, TV, mobile etc..

Want to know how many African organizations are running IPv6? Here is the list.

 

 

 

Comments

  1. McTim

    Reply

    Africa is no different than the rest of the world in terms of waiting to deploy IPv6. Lots of folk are still waiting for the business case, and not just in Africa.

  2. John Gitau

    Reply

    So I like that quite a number of Kenyans are speaking up about IPv6. I was in tanzania/afnog discussing the very same thing and I was very impressed by the questions raised there.

    We are at a critical point in this IPv6 debate. By now people should have more than a fair idea of IPv6, why its needed, how it works, how it affects us etc.

    We need to jump into this with the rest of the world. It’s a once in a lifetime chance to actually struggle with the rest of the globe. We need to gain the experience together, we need to educate each other, custumers won’t really care how they get a service, they don’t care now, they just want their google,their twitter,their facebook (note none of the top 5 sites are hosted locally). If we’re left behind, we’ll squarely be blamed.

    Waiting for a business case is really not even an issue any more. The present value of IPv6 today is hugely discounted. It will get more expensive to train, buy,prepare, migrate in the future. If thats not enough then maybe closing shop is a good idea.

    Any organization that doesn’t do this now loses out on some serious experience for their engineers, soon there will be economic and social pressure from customers for IPv6, you need to be ready they’ll waste the enthusiasm techies feel when such a thing comes about, to play with it, to experiment to learn. They’ll go down….

    On the other hand, IPv6 will be a serious cash cow for people who know how to milk it. My apologies..this turned out longer than I planned….

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