Government not ready for move to IPv6 according to research

80 per cent of governmental departments are not using the technology, despite digitisation of services


Infoblox has revealed the government is not ready for the move to IPv6, despite pressures to move to the newer web technology.

The company spoke to all 24 government departments under the Freedom of Information Act and discovered only the Ministry of Defence (MoD) and Department of Health (DoH) have an IPv6 allocation.

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However, the MoD also revealed it is sitting on 38.5 million worth of unused IPv4 addresses, despite the supply apparently being exhausted across Europe, Asia and North and South America.

Another department accused of holding onto high volumes of IPv4 addresses is the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), which sold a large number of its addresses last year. However, it said it is not using IPv6 addresses, nor does it have any disused IPv4 addresses in its possession anymore.

Although uptake of IPv6 addresses is pretty low across the 24 departments questioned by Infoblox, two departments, the Department for Environment Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA) and the Department for Transport, are both considering moves to IPv6 from IPv4 addresses in the next 12 months.

However, this will cause incompatibility issues and is something that must be considered in their digital transformation strategies, Infoblox said.

The move could cause problems for consumers trying to use services, as ISPs begin to realise the potential of IPv6 technologies and may start discontinuing support for the older web technologies.

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"As the government continues to affirm its commitment to the digitisation of services, with tax discs and Universal Credit applications among many services to be managed online, it is essential that government ensures all online services are accessible to everyone in the UK," explained Tom Coffeen, ‎chief IPv6 evangelist at Infoblox.

"As more web traffic arrives over IPv6, it's very likely the government will have users trying to access sites from an IPv6 client which could stop them experiencing a site's full functionality, potentially reducing access to services for some users."

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