All government organisations should have a plan to shift to a network that supports new version of internet addresses, IPv6, by 2017-end, Telecom Minister Kapil Sibal on Tuesday said.

“By 2017, we should be a smart knowledge society. We will use IPv6 for rural emergency healthcare, tele-education, smart-metering, smart-grid, smart-building, smart-cities which has tremendous potential for socio-economic development of this country,” Mr. Sibal said while unveiling the roadmap.

The government has started issuing IPv6 addresses following shortage of previous version of internet address, IPv4.

“The current version, IPv4, has almost run out of addresses. The explosive growth of number of subscribers and the increasing number of devices has made it necessary to migrate to IPv6. Its adoption is must for secure and sustainable growth of internet,” Telecom Secretary R. Chandrashekhar said.

According to the plan, DoT has said that government organisations should prepare a detailed transition plan for complete migration to IPv6 by December 2017.

“The plan should be prepared latest by December 2013 and accordingly the required budgetary provisions should be made in their demand for grant. For this purpose, it is recommended that a dedicated transition unit in each organisation should be formed immediately to facilitate entire transition,” DoT Member (Technology) R.K. Bhatnagar said.

The roadmap mandates that all internet connections provided to business organisations should support new version of internet addresses, IPv6, from January 1, 2014 onwards.

“All new enterprise customer connections, both wireless and wireline, provided by Service Providers on or after 01-01-2014 shall be capable of carrying IPv6 traffic either on dual stack or on native IPv6,” Mr. Bhatnagar said.

As per the IPv6 adoption plan, all new IP based services like cloud computing, data centres etc., to be provisioned for and by the government organisations should be on dual stack.

This means it should support both IPv6 traffic as well as current version of internet addresses IPv4 with immediate effect.

The public interface of all government projects for delivery of citizen centric services should be on dual stack supporting IPv6 traffic latest by January 1, 2015.

The government organisations should procure equipments which are also IPv6 Ready (Dual Stack) and go for deployment of IPv6 ready (Dual Stack) networks with end-to-end IPv6 supported applications, Mr. Bhatnagar said.