Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : June 25th 2015 Contents In the Caribbean, we routinely use our smart-
phones, tablets, laptops and other connected
devices for work, play and everything in-
between. Every device connected to the Inter-
net is identified by a unique address, and
thanks to the swift growth of the Internet,
very little now remains of that finite stock of numbering
The current system of Internet number resource
management, called Internet Protocol version 4 (IPv4),
is near depletion. At a ceremony in Miami in February
2011, the last batches of IPv4 addresses were disbursed
to the five regional Internet registries that manage
those resources in the different regions of the world.
Unlike Europe and Asia who have run out, the
Americas are now in the final phases of allocating
remaining resources. Two registries service the
Caribbean---the American Registry for Internet Num-
bers (ARIN) and the Internet Address Registry for
Latin America and the Caribbean (LACNIC).
ARIN expects that all remaining IP addresses for
North America and the parts of the Caribbean they
serve will be claimed before the end of this year.
"In the coming weeks, for the first time in history,
an organisation will come in and request IPv4 address
space and qualify, but we won't have it in our inventory
to fulfill the request," said Richard Jimmerson, ARIN's
chief information officer recently told Ars Technica.
But all is not lost. The Internet is in the midst of
a major transition to a new version of IP addresses
known as IPv6. And while IPv4 resource allocation
has hit a critical stage, there is plenty of IPv6 address
space available for anyone who wants to use it. The
updated version launched with 340 undecillion
addresses, more than enough to addresses the short-
The Internet Society has already observed that more
and more IPv6 networks around the world are seeing
a lot of IPv6 traffic. Popular websites like Google,
Facebook, YouTube, Yahoo!, and Wikipedia have been
using IPv6 for quite some time now.
An Apple executive announced on the first day of
its World Wide Developers Conference (WWDC) that
the AppStore would soon require IPv6 support for
all iOS 9 apps.
"Because IPv6 support is so critical to ensuring
your applications work across the world for every
customer, we are making it an AppStore submission
requirement, starting with iOS 9," said Sebastien
Marineau, Apple's vice president of Core OS.
Slow Caribbean deployment
Still, Caribbean Internet Service Providers have
been sluggish to adopt the new technology.
In a pair of exclusive interviews with the Guardian
last month, top officials from ARIN and LACNIC dis-
cussed Caribbean ISPs' slow rate of IPv6 deploy-
Leslie Nobile, Senior Director of Global Registry
Knowledge at ARIN, told the Guardian that about 43
per cent of ARIN's ISP members in the Caribbean
had already received their IPv6 allocations. That figure
compares well with the percentage of allocations
already given to ARIN's U.S. and Canadian ISP mem-
bers, about 47 per cent.
But LACNIC chief technology officer Carlos Mar-
tinez told the Guardian that, compared to their North
American neighbours, Caribbean ISPs have been rel-
atively slow to actually deploy the new technology.
LACNIC's figures on Internet traffic show a global
average IPv6 adoption rate of around five per cent,
while the region lags at less than one per cent, he
Organisations such as Caribbean Network Operators
Group, the Caribbean Telecommunications Union
and Packet Clearing House have been raising awareness
of the need for regional organisations and governments
BUSINESS GUARDIAN www.guardian.co.tt JUNE 2015 • WEEK FOUR
to transition their networks to IPv6.
"Anyone responsible for managing an IP-
based network should adopt IPv6 priority
as if the future of their networks depended
on it, because it does," said Bevil Wooding,
internet strategist with Packet Clearing
House. Wooding has been instrumental in
raising the awareness of IPv4 exhaust and
the need for IPv6 transition in the Caribbean.
"Securing IP addresses stability is key to
safeguarding the bourgeoning Caribbean
digital economy. With IPv4 coming to an
end and Internet growth continuing to rise,
there is no time like the present to make the
shift to IPv6. It's simply too important an
issue to leave unaddressed."
ARIN on the road
The urgent need for IPv6 migration fea-
tured high on the agenda at a free ARIN on
the Road event held in Roseau, Dominica
on June 18. Two sessions led by Leslie Nobile
will cover IPv4 depletion and IPv6 uptake
in particular. The one-day event brought
participants up to speed with the status and
forecast of IPv6 adoption, and how to request
and manage Internet resources.
Transitioning to IPv6 is very possible, and
the exhaustion of IPv4 addresses in the
region just provides operators with one more
reminder that now is the time to make the
transition. One hopes that the ARIN event
also helped to do exactly that.
Dominica hosts regional IPv6 update workshop
Caribbean moving to new Internet standard, slowly
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