NZ could lead world on IPv6, says INZ director

More than 70 technical staff with the necessary skills for the transition

New Zealand is well placed to lead the world in the shift from IPv4 to IPv6 internet addressing, says InternetNZ executive director Keith Davidson.

Recent estimates indicate that the world is running out of addresses under the old IPv4 scheme even faster than anticipated.

“We have about two years left of IPv4,” Davidson says, bearing in mind that even new networks built on IPv6 will need some IPv4 addresses to bridge to the large part of the internet still using the old scheme.

InternetNZ has coordinated two workshops, in Christchurch and Auckland, in the past few weeks, to follow one held in Wellington, on the technical aspects of upgrading to IPv6. The Christchurch workshop followed a meeting there of the New Zealand Asia Pacific Network Information Centre (APNIC).

New Zealand now has more than 70 technical staff with the necessary skills for the transition, Davidson says. The NZ Network Operations Group (NZNOG) is also showing increased commitment to the urgency of the change, he says. The next phase of the task is to convince the CIOs and CTOs of local organisations of the need to push on with the task.

“Bearing in mind our small size and the number of skilled people available, there is a great opportunity for New Zealand to assert some leadership in this regard,” Davidson says.

Many New Zealanders will attend a meeting of the Australian IPv6 taskforce (www.ipv6.org.au) scheduled for November, and this will be a further opportunity to plan, raise awareness and hone technical skills.

That meeting is also likely to provide a focus for founding an equivalent New Zealand task force, Davidson says.

InternetNZ registered the domain name ipv6.org.nz in 2003 and has a website at that address with basic information on the change. The .co.nz and .net.nz equivalents were registered in 2006, by Paul Burrett, of Stockport, England.

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