K. Srinivas Reddy

Emerges third city in the world to host international meet on Internet issues

Earlier meetings held in Athens and Rio de Janeiro

More than 1,000 delegates from world over to take part

HYDERABAD: Hyderabad will be adding another feather in its cap, when it hosts the third Internet Governance Forum (IGF) meeting in December. More than 1,000 delegates from world over will meet here to hold deliberations on a wide range of issues pertaining to internet.

The IGF, an apolitical body formed in 2005, consists of stakeholders – carriers, Internet Service Providers, academics, civil society, governments and international organisations. It had earlier held its meetings in 2006 and 2007, the first in Athens and the next in Rio de Janeiro. The third, with an overall theme ‘Internet for all’ will deliberate on several issues ranging from cyber security to managing critical internet resources.

Workshops

A Multi-stakeholder Advisory Group (MAG) meeting held in Geneva in May had finalised the issues to be debated in the four-day Hyderabad conclave.

There would be workshops, open for dynamic coalition meetings on broad subjects such as reaching the next billionth user, cyber security, emerging issues pertaining to internet, apart from the most crucial subject of managing critical Internet resources.

Unique address

The Hyderabad meeting will also attempt to identify the readiness of the internet-poor countries in upgrading themselves to the new version of Internet Protocol (IP) address system on a par with Internet-rich countries.

Currently, many countries, including India use the IPv4 (IP version four) for allocating a unique address to each and every computer or an electronic device connected to the Internet.

The four octet IP address (ex:202.53.12.1) in IPv4 is akin to a house number and such addresses, due to their limited numbers, will soon be exhausted.

Realising the threat of IP address exhaustion in version 4, developed countries have begun using an advanced version six already (IPv6), which will be having an eight octet IP address (ex: 2001:0DB8:

ACIO:0000:FEO1::). In mathematical terms, while the number of IPv4 addresses can be up to 2 to the power of 32, those of IPv6 can go up to 2 to the power of 128.

The IGF brainstorming sessions would critically examine the steps to be initiated for migration to next version, compatibility between two versions and discuss on whether the hardware needs to be modified or manufactured afresh.

“The compatibility between two versions is crucial, as companies need to plan on their investment on upgradation of hardware. Unless the Indian companies begin investing now on this migration, it would be terribly expensive once IPv4 exhaustion takes place,” feels Kusumba Sridhar, Director of APNIC that looks after the IP address allocation in 56 countries in this region.