What Can the Region’s Governments Do to Promote IPv6 Deployment?

29/07/2021

LACNIC CEO Oscar Robles called on the States of Latin America and the Caribbean to contribute to IPv6 development in the region, cooperating and collaborating with the organizations that are part of the Internet ecosystem.

During a session titled Can Governments Play a Role in Promoting IPv6? held within the framework of IPv6 Day, Robles observed that this contribution should not be in the form of regulations but by working together with Internet organizations, as “these are more flexible ways of achieving the same results.”

Robles noted that States should be involved in IPv6 deployment, as this protocol is no longer a technological challenge but a strategic issue for the development of national digital initiatives in Latin America and the Caribbean.

First, Robles stressed that IPv6 allows transaction traceability, in other words, it makes it possible to map an IP address to a user or subscriber. Today, this is practically impossible with IPv4. “Not only is this an Internet security issue, but it would also put an end to the excuses of those who generate mass online surveillance mechanisms. IPv6 would allow tracing transactions,” he added.

The second reason Robles mentioned is that there is no more available IPv4 address space to connect the 240 million people who have no Internet access in Latin America and the Caribbean. On average, more than two (2.16) users share an IP in the region. Any national digital inclusion plan should consider IPv6 in its design, otherwise it will not be able to connect part of the country’s population.

The third aspect mentioned by Robles is that, while there is already a lack of addresses for individual users, this problem will be even more severe when trying to connect the huge number of devices these users require. In his words, “Sooner or later, we will see a significant demand for addresses to connect the additional devices, sensors, and tools that are joining those already connected to the Internet. The answer to these challenges is IPv6.”

Robles suggested that each State might contribute to IPv6 deployment through cooperation and collaboration initiatives or voluntary commitments to multistakeholder Internet development. “Each entity that is part of the process (ISPs, academia, users, and States) has a role to play (see table), as they will all reap the benefits,” he concluded.

In this context, LACNIC can contribute to these efforts by providing training for professionals, information on IPv6, or direct collaboration to the extent of the organization’s possibilities.