15 December 2017

Nigeria: Telcos, ISPs Frustrating IPV6 Adoption By Networks

There are indications that telecommunications operators and traditional internet service providers (ISPs) in the country are frustrating adoption of Internet Protocol version six (IPv6) by other networks, Nigeria CommunicationsWeek has learnt.

IPv6 is touted as the latest level of the Internet Protocol (IP) and is now included as part of IP support in many products including the major computer operating systems.

A network engineer with a university who does not want to be named expressed the university's frustration to use its IPv6 address by the telecommunications operator providing them with internet connectivity because their network is not compactable with IPv6.

Providing more insight on this, Mohammed Rudman, chairman, IPv6 Council Nigeria, said that most telecommunications operators and internet service providers in the country have not adopted IPv6 which raises the issue of compatibility with other networks they are offering internet connectivity service.

"Upstream service providers in the country are not offering IPv6 on their network. For instance, among networks that bring submarine cable to the country, it is only MainOne network that have adopted IPv6 on its network. This is not good for the country's effort to adopt IPv6," he said.

Nigeria CommunicationsWeek investigations revealed that there are 32 networks in the country which are made up of telecommunications operators, internet service providers, universities, banks, oil companies among other organizations that have acquired IPv6, with only three networks using it as at today, they include MainOne Cable Company, Internet Solution Limited, and ipNX Nigeria Limited.

Rudman noted that while other African countries are making steady progress in the adoption of IPv6 Nigeria lags behind because of their use of Network Address Translation (NAT). NAT allows networks to convert private addresses of internet protocol (IP) to public addresses thereby making the country to consume less resource of IP addresses.

He added that the use of NAT is responsible for Nigeria's low ranking in consumption of IP addresses on the internet, even as the country ranks amongst the highest in Internet penetration in world and number one in Africa.

Niyi Yusuf, country managing director, Accenture Nigeria, urges for regulatory push in the adoption of IPv6, he cited the case in banking sector where CBN issued a directive mandating banks to adopt tier 111 Data Centre which led them into outsourcing of data centre business to commercial data centre operators with Tier 111 certification.

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