Continuing its advocacy and activities to promote Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6) deployment in the Philippines, the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) – Advanced Science and Technology Institute (ASTI) co-organized the World IPv6 Day Celebration on June 08, 2011 at the Commission on Information and Communications Technology (CICT), and held IPv6 technical trainings from June 9-10, 2011 at the ASTI Training Room.
The 2011 World IPv6 Day aims to promote IPv6 adoption in the Philippines, celebrating in sync with internet communities all over the world, whilst the IPv6 Training aims to equip Philippine organizations with right technical know-how on IPv6 migration and deployment.
Why migrate to IPv6?
For the past few decades, the Internet has used Internet Protocol version 4 (IPv4). IPv4 uses IP addresses to uniquely identify these electronic devices or hosts, may it be a computer or any other machine. Despite its tremendous success, IPv4 is showing signs of strain, especially, in its limited address space and its fast depletion. To address these concerns, the IPv6 was created.
The newer version IPv6 serves the same function with that of the IPv4 but it does not carry the same limitations. Among the features of the IPv6, are larger addresses, in a way that these become unlimited for everyone, flexible header format, improved options, support for resource allocations and provision for protocol extension. IPv6 preserves everything that is good about today’s internet, and adds more features such as stateless auto-configuration, seamless mobility, automated network management, mandated security and new optional service levels.
DOST-ASTI pioneer and leader in IPv6 initiatives in the Philippines
The DOST-ASTI, through PREGINET, is a pioneer in using IPv6 all throughout the country. PREGINET got its IPv6 assignment from the Asian Internet Interconnection Initiatives in 2000 and received from the Asia Pacific Network Information Center, the first IPv6 address block in the Philippines in 2003. Since then, the DOST-ASTI conducted research and development projects to develop IPv6 knowledge, solutions and services, and has provided technical advise and assistance to many public and private sector organizations.
With its full commitment in the awareness campaign of the importance of the IPv6 migration, DOST-ASTI helped in drafting the Executive Order (EO) 893, along with CICT, National Computer Center (NCC), Telecommunications Office and National Telecommunications Commission. On June 29, 2010, the Malacañang Palace issued EO 893, entitled Promoting the Deployment and Use of Internet Protocol version 6, to encourage the use of IPv6 since exhaustion of IPv4 threatens to deter applications and services in internet-based infrastructure. Government services that may be affected by the exhaustion of IP addresses include health care, national security, public safety, education and environment.
The EO 893 enjoins all government online services to be IPv6-compliant two years after said executive order takes effect and to have an IPv6 migration plan in their Information System Strategic Plans. Moreover, government agencies will be forbidden to procure IPv4-only equipment, software and services after 2013. The DOST-ASTI, on the other hand, is tasked to assist the government agencies to achieve smooth interoperability testings of IPv4 and IPv6 infrastructure and systems.
Trainings for major stakeholders
“We are holding forums and trainings to key stakeholders. We are partnering with the NCI Group of CICT/NCC in order to help us train the numerous government network engineers that needs exposure and knowledge to run this protocol,” said PREGINET Technical Head Bayani Benjamin R. Lara.
Through ASTI-PREGINET Team’s continuing IPv6 deployment, many government agency websites are already Ipv6-enabled. These include the Department of Health, Department of Foreign Affairs, Metropolitan Manila Development Authority, Court of Appeals and the Office of the President, among others. In addition, International Rice Research Institute’s local area network is also IPv6-capable, because of their network link to ASTI-PREGINET. The ASTI-PREGINET Team is looking to further expand IPv6 adoption whilst aiming to increase its impact by providing solutions that allow more efficient online government services and operations through use of IPv6 i.e. Voice over IP.
In a reversal of traditional roles in the Philippines IT space, private telecommunication companies are even looking to the government, through the DOST-ASTI, to provide technical leadership in this important area that impacts current and future consumers of internet services. In fact, Globe is doing their IPv6 trials right now, and they are passing their traffic to PREGINET, in order to reach other IPv6 networks.
Internet Society Philippines President Randall Lozano commended the ASTI-PREGINET’s efforts on IPv6. He further acknowledged the DOST-ASTI for initiating the use of IPv6 in the Philippines with the hep of PREGINET.
Importance of IPv6 in the Philippines
In his speech at World IPv6 Day, CICT Chair Ivan John E. Uy said that Philippines must lead in the transition to IPv6 to enable the growth and attract investments for the local ICT industry as IPv4 addresses are fast running out.
“The Philippines should have its place and be competitive to the global digital economy. It must take its bold steps and one of these is migrating to IPv6,” said Uy. According to him, an IPv6 Inter-agency Technical Working Group initiated IPv6 connectivity through ASTI-PREGINET program, as a welcome development.