Canadians have a reason to worry; they are staring at an imminent danger of an Information Technology blackout. The Canadian blackout will result from slow IPv6 adoption after the exhaustion of IPv4 protocols. A recent ranking of countries about the adoption of IPv6 by AKamai.com placed Canada at position 22. According to this ranking, Canada had an estimated IPv6 adoption rate of 5.6 percent which is way too small for a country such as Canada.
Belgium was ranked first in the adoption of the new generation internet protocol at 41.8 percent. A survey conducted by CiscoCanada shows that Countries such as the United States, the United Kingdom, China, Germany, and France which Canada competes with technologically all have better ranking an indication that they are several steps ahead in the adoption of the IPv6.
Why Canada is lagging behind in embracing IPv6
There is no any substantial justification for the slow adoption of IPv6 in Canada. As a nation, Canada has the resources needed to embrace this new protocol. Authorities in Canada are simply not taking this issue with the urgency it deserves. As a nation, they are not pushing Canadian Internet Service Providers (ISPs’) to adopt this new protocol and giving them a purpose to do so. Lack of seriousness by these authorities on this matter puts the whole of Canada in grave danger once the IPv4 is entirely exhausted.
Implications for Canada
At this point of exhaustion, there will be a rush by ISP’s from different nations to adopt the new Internet protocol, and a gridlock is likely to arise. The gridlock may take days, weeks of months and Canada will be caught right in the middle of it. During this period, there will be numerous communication challenges in Canada. Many computerized functions of the state, as well as private entities, will be compromised if Canada fails to achieve at least 80% IPv6 adoption by the time IPv4 expires. Computerized security systems will not be left out either by the blackout. In these times when national and global security is under great threat from terrorism, such a hitch would be fatal. Terrorists could take advantage of the loopholes created by the Information Technology blackout to strike Canada.
The way forward for Canada
Since it is difficult to estimate the damage that may emanate from system hitches due to Exhaustion of IPv4 in Canada, there is the need for prompt action.The move to IPv6 needs to be taken more seriousness for it is the only way out of this anticipated Information Technology mess. Institutions such as the Canadian Internet Registry Authority (CIRA), CANARIE, and Viagenie need to take IPv6 adoption as a matter of urgency. These institutions should work hand in hand with other private and public sector entities to ensure that this next generation protocol is adopted. They also need to liaise with Canadian ISPs’ and draft a strategic plan for the adoption of IPv6. This is the only way Canada will escape the looming IT blackout.
By 2016, Almost 8 Billion Devices Will be IPv6-Compatible