Lagos – Internet experts warned Nigeria’s internet space might be shut down if the country continued using its old internet protocol (IP).
The experts urged the government to upgrade infrastructure and devices urgently to prevent this from happening.
Analysts raised this concern at the just-ended IPV6 Roundtable Digital SENSE Africa Media organised in Lagos.
Engineer Otunte Otueneh of the Nigeria Chapter Officer of the Internet Society warned that the IPv4 Nigeria is using is outdated.
"It is uncertain when the version 6 will be finished. We need to create awareness to tell Nigerians that version 4 is almost finished and we need to move on to the new version. Communication providers and end users have to be aware of this, if not they risk losing connectivity because the version they are using is on the brick of extinction,” he said.
IPV6 is the latest revision of the IP, the communications protocol that provides an identification and location system for computers on networks and routes traffic across the internet. IPV6 is intended to replace IPV4, which still carries the vast majority of internet traffic as of 2013.
He added, “Original equipment manufacturers while making their equipment or devices have to make sure the technologies are IPv6-enabled. The end user has to be wise enough to request for IPv6-enabled devices. The problem will start when someone with IPV4 approaches an internet service provider that runs on IPv6, there will not be compatibility. At the end the user won't have a connection to the internet”.
Benedict Othello, Head of Information Systems at Phase 3 Telecoms, concurred.
“Users on the IPV4 platform will not be accommodated by service providers at some point. For instance, if telecom operators in Nigeria roll out SIM cards and fail to expand their modules for more subscribers, it will affect their businesses. It is all about upgrading to that new version to accommodate more customers,” said Othello.
He urged the government and service provider to train personnel on IVP6.
“We must train our technical personnel so that when the time comes, we will not lack qualified or competent people to handle that. If we do not, we are creating room for expatriates to flood the IT environment which is indirectly creating channels for capital flight. ,” Othello added.
– CAJ News