|IPv6: Embrace The Change
Nishant Shah, Director-Research, Center for Internet and Society
A moment of transition is always filled with anxiety. There is concern over the unknown and there is a reluctance to move out of the familiar. However, a transition does not necessarily mean migration; or in other words, as we transition to IPv6 as the new protocol for digital and electronic communication, it does not mean that we are going to abandon the Internet as we know it.
In fact, for most of the users, it is going to be a transparent transition, where their devices are going to be able to harness the powers of IPv4 and 6. While there are huge benefits at the back-end, leading to better security protocols and low maintenance, there are a few advantages that the user should also celebrate.
Faster Internet: Because IPv6 will open up a huge range of IP addresses, direct routing of data becomes a possibility. As data does not have to be routed through many servers or nodes within a network, it can reach its destination faster. With the way our digital access and sharing is going right now, this is not to be taken lightly. In many ways this is the same transition we had from the dial-up connections, where the transfer of picture and video files within minutes was totally unheard of, while now we're in an age where we stream high density video on all our computing devices with ease.
More collaborative and shared Internet: With the abundance of IP addresses coming our way, there is going to be more scope for multiple devices to be connected online. New platforms of collaborative knowledge production and sharing can be designed to become infinite and inclusive in their scale and architecture.
More connected devices: The inter-operability features of IPv6 ensure that more devices are able to communicate with each other with ease. The science-fiction futuristic dream of a completely connected environment where human and artificial intelligence can work together, using a range of devices, is actually a material possibility with large scale IPv6 implementation. This can also trigger new innovation that helps reconstruct some of our existing devices in new forms and shapes.
While affordability and the migration to new network infrastructure are the gating factors to this transition, these are diminishing costs and we are looking at more interesting Internet architecture as we move towards IPv6. Perhaps, one of the most reassuring points of this transition is that we do not need to abandon the familiar internet we are already working with; the transition is not a moving on, but a moving to, and in it are the promises of a safe, secure and speedy Internet.
Global technology organizations like Tata Communications have embraced this change; it's only a matter of time before others too recognize the need for IPv6 and the huge difference it will make to our lives.