The Brazilian telecommunications agency Anatel announced that Internet operators will provide IPv6 addresses to consumers from 1 July as part of a set of initiatives to move faster to the new standard.
With the depletion of IPv4 addresses in Brazil announced last June, local policymakers have increased the pressure on network operators to migrate quickly to IPv6, the next-generation protocol for Internet networking.
The adoption of the new protocol in Brazil will take place in a way that is "transparent to the user" and the two protocols will still coexist, Anatel said. The agency has also put together a working group to oversee the migration.
From July, all new users must have an IPv6 address provided by Internet operators. Those still using IPv4 devices will also be entitled to apply for a public IP that isn't shared with other users.As well as solving the issue of IPv4 address exhaustion, IPv6 adds a number of additional features in areas such as mobility, auto-configuration and overall extensibility, supporting a much wider range of devices that can be directly connected to the Internet.
As part of the new migration push, Anatel is also requiring IPv6 addressing for all new Internet-enabled devices manufactured and sold in Brazil from 2016 - before reaching final consumers, such products require Anatel's technical certification.
In Brazil, some 68 percent of providers have migrated to IPv6, according to data from NIC.br, the body that oversees the distribution of Brazil's IPv4 and IPv6 addresses. But client equipment such as modems and routers still needs to be upgraded, so that will require a gradual transition that should be ongoing until 2018.
Currently, Brazilian organizations can only get a maximum of 1024 IPv4 addresses every six months. This comes from the 2 million addresses which will be used to support the transition to IPv6. After that, there will be one final allocation of 2 million IPv4 addresses that can be provided to new companies in limited batches.
Companies have been dragging their heels on the issue of IPv4 exhaustion for years. According to Anatel, what has been hampering progress of the IPv6 migration in Brazil is the chicken-and-egg situation between operators and content generators - Internet portals, social networking platforms, search engines - over who should start migrating to the new protocol.
With the new deadlines, the agency believes that the deadlines imposed to the providers will mean that content generators will start working on it.
Currently, major Internet players such as Facebook and Google already operate with IPv6 content, as well as local companies such as portals UOL and Terra.