IPv6 course preps Singapore IT pros for efficient move

Singapore company Progreso starts first IPv6 Forum-certified course to equip local IT professionals for more efficient IPv6 migration and "plug" existing skills gap, says managing director.
Written by Tyler Thia, Contributor

SINGAPORE--Local company, Progreso, is conducting Singapore's first IPv6 Forum-certified course to train network engineers and other IT professionals on how to make the migration a smoother, more efficient process, revealed a company executive.

Victor Tang, managing director at Progreso, said the company is offering two tiers of courses--Silver for beginners and Gold for advanced learners--that are aimed to equip IT professionals with a good grasp on how to plan and manage the migration from IPv4 to IPv6. The cost of the Silver course is priced at S$2,500 (US$2,083) while the Gold course is priced at S$3,500 (US$2,917), he added.  

"The Silver course covers IPv6 fundamentals. For [course graduates] who have covered the basics, they can move on to the Gold certification, which will provide more details on how to configure routers and networks," elaborated the director. Tang was speaking at the launch of the Singapore chapter of the IPv6 Forum here Thursday.

Quizzed on why the company decided to offer the course, Tang explained that he saw the opportunity to "plug the gap" in IPv6 training after sensing a lack of similar programs in the market.

"It is not [just] about getting the infrastructure [right], people must also possess IPv6 knowledge so when it's time to switch over, the process would move faster," he noted.

Additionally, the company had earlier applied for funding from the IDA, and its request is currently being reviewed, said the executive. If successful, prospective students can look forward to subsidized course fees, he noted.

Tang also highlighted the Infocomm Development Authority's (IDA) efforts in moving the nation toward IPv6. He said the local ICT regulator has been the "core engine" in pushing the migration since the start of the new millennium. If not for its efforts, he added, Singapore would be much further behind in its adoption of the next-generation Internet protocol (IP).

That said, he noted that while many organizations here are interested to build up their competencies in the technology, they are not in a rush to switch over as IPv4 addresses are still available from service providers.

Singapore chapter to further IPv6 cause
This mentality could cause local businesses to suffer in competitiveness as major emerging economies such as China have already turned on IPv6, cautioned IPv6 Forum President Latif Ladid.

He said Singapore, as a major global trading center, cannot afford to "island" itself and local companies still using IPv4 will be effectively shutting itself off from these big markets. 

Furthermore, turning on IPv6 connections will also kickstart a two-way communication between Internet users, said Ladid. This, he noted, would allow for better geolocation advertising as well as enabling the implementation of smart grids and other IT efficiencies.

In town to witness the launch of the 76th chapter here Thursday, Ladid revealed that Singapore has one of the highest number of allocated IPv6 prefixes, with 57 organizations having applied for the next-generation IP addresses.

However, only 17 companies have made the switch over to IPv6, and none of these companies that have turned on the IP have allowed users to access these sites. Instead, people are still accessing their IPv4-based sites, he noted. 

Now that the Singapore Chapter is launched, and with Tang being appointed Chairman, Ladid said the task of the organization would be to "send an expert to convince" these Internet service providers (ISPs) to turn on their IPv6 services for end-users.

"So, if by year-end, SingTel offers the connection, [for example], then that is a job well done," he added.

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