In the light of the impending worldwide migration from Internet Protocol version 4 (IPv4) to IPv6, the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) – Advanced Science and Technology Institute (ASTI) will assist the government agencies to achieve smooth interoperability testings of IPv4 and IPv6 infrastructure and systems.
The task came at the heels of the release last month of the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of Executive Order (E.O.) No. 893 Promoting the Deployment and Use of Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6) dated 29 June 2010.
In a memorandum signed by Commission on Information and Communications Technology (CICT) Chairman Ivan John Enrile Uy, the CICT stressed the importance of the development of IPv6, as well as the worldwide migration from Internet Protocol version 4 (IPv4) to IPv6.
IPv6 responds to the current problem of internet address exhaustion. Every mobile phone and computer that has access to the Internet is given a unique IP address. With the rise in the number of gadgets and users, the old system of addressing networked devices is almost exhausted. Running out of IP addresses has serious effects, such as impeding the growth and development of Internet-based services.
“Smooth transition from IPv4 and IPv6 is very important in enhancing government operations and services,” said DOST Secretary Mario Montejo. “DOST’s team of experts in Internet infrastructure and systems is ready to take part in this significant Internet leap.”
Malacañang Palace issued E.O. No. 893 to encourage the use of IPv6 since exhaustion of IPv4 threatens to deter investments in Internet-based infrastructure, applications and services. Government services that may be affected by the exhaustion of IP addresses include health care, national security, public safety, education, environment, among others.
E.O. No. 893 states that the development of IPv6 and the worldwide migration from IPv4 to IPv6 will pave the way to solving the problem of IPv4 address exhaustion. Moreover, deploying IPv6 will enable the continued expansion of the Internet in the country.
The 32-bit IPv4 allows a maximum of four billion addresses while the IPv6 with its 128 bits allows a total that can only be expressed by the mathematical sentence 3.4x10^38.
A memorandum from the CICT instructed all government online services to be IPv6-compliant two years after E.O. No. 893 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, through the Philippine Research, Education and Government Information Network (PREGINET), initiated the use of IPv6 in the Philippines. 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.
PREGINET is the only research and education network in the Philippines which interconnects and catalyzes research among academic, government and research institutions. (Katherine R. Babaran, S&T Media Service)