Cyber blackout imminent as Nigeria’s Internet addresses run out

Nigerian internet users will soon be restricted from accessing the World Wide Web (www) because the Internet Protocol 4 (IPv4) on which most connectivity in the country are run is on the verge of extinction, according to a report. This worrying development can disrupt economic activities in the country if measures are not taken quickly.  IPv6 is the sixth revision to the Internet Protocol and the successor to IPv4 platform. For 30 years running, IPv4 has been the foundation of the internet globally and now that it is almost out of addresses, industry analysts say the transition is a matter of necessity, according to a report by an online news medium THE RAINBOW. Otunte Otueneh, chapter officer, Internet Society, Nigeria Chapter, was quoted in a recent report, as saying that the IPv4 is almost exhausted. “By the time the IPv4 finishes, most PC cannot be connected to the internet,” he warned. It was gathered that the last batch of IPv4 addresses was allocated two years ago at a ceremony in Miami, United States of America, to Asia Pacific Network, by Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA), the body that oversees the global allocation of internet addresses. This, however, underscores the extent to which the internet has become an essential part of modern life. Today, most home appliances such as TVs and fridges can connect to the Internet. Otueneh, who spoke on the sidelines of the IPv6 roundtable organised by DigitalSENSE Africa Media, said: “We need to create awareness to tell Nigerians that version 4 is almost finished and we need to move on to the new version.” The exhaustion of the IPv4 pool and the inevitable transition to IPv6 has been the talk of many national and international meetings, particularly during a Sociétés de l’Information dedicated to the AfNOG, AfriNIC and INET meetings held in Abuja at the beginning of May 2007. With IPv4 exhaustion looming and IPv6 taking a rather slow start, there have been extensive debates on the need to act fast.



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