5 May 2012

NZ in top 10 for next stage of internet

8:34 pm on 5 May 2012

New Zealand is ranked seventh among the 20 main countries preparing for the move to the internet's new addressing scheme, a survey has shown.

The survey comes a month before World IPv6 day on June 6, which will see many websites working to the IPv6 protocol permanently activated, the BBC reports.

The new IPv6 scheme is needed because the older system, IP Version 4, is about to run out of addresses.

Compiled by Europe's net address overseer, Réseaux IP Europe (RIPE), the report says that New Zealand has 29.7% of its networks able to cope with IPv6 traffic, just behind Germany and just ahead of Belgium and Singapore.

Britain, China and USA lagging

Britain fails to make the top 20 because only 17.3% of its networks can work with IPv6 traffic, and neither China nor the USA - which have the two largest net-using populations - make RIPE's Top 20 list.

While many networks in these countries are starting to be able to handle traffic for the old and new addressing schemes, only a handful of end-users were using the protocol, said Daniel Karrenberg, chief scientist at RIPE.

He predicts that Europe's stock of IPv4 addresses will run out later in 2012, and said all firms should be getting on with the job of adopting IPv6.

World IPv6 day is due to be held on 6 June and is intended to be a way for firms to test how they work with the new protocol.

Many big net names, including Google, Facebook and Microsoft's Bing, have pledged to turn on IPv6 versions of their sites and leave them running.

Every device attached to the internet needs what is known as an IP address to ensure data reaches the right destination.

Version 4 of the scheme defining the format of those addresses was drawn up in the 1970s. It made available a pool of about four billion addresses.

The rapid growth of the net and the web has rapidly drained the pool and exposed a need to move to IPv6. This has an effectively inexhaustible supply of addresses available.

To see how far the world has got in converting to the new scheme, RIPE, has been logging which networks have announced that they can handle IPv6 traffic.

It found that 49.3% of Norway's networks could route this traffic - the best performance - Holland was in second place (43.5%) and Malaysia third (37.1%).

Top 20 IPv6 nations

Norway - 49.3%

Netherlands - 43.8%

Malaysia - 37.1%

Japan - 32.5%

Sweden - 31.9%

Germany 30.9%

New Zealand - 29.7%

Belgium - 29.2%

Singapore - 29.1%

Ireland - 28.7%

Finland - 28%

Denmark - 27.7%

Austria - 27.3%

Switzerland - 26.7%

Portugal - 25.9%

France - 22.3%

Taiwan - 21.2%

Slovenia - 21.1%

Hong Kong 20.4%

South Africa - 20%