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India launches local registry for IP addresses

Government launches the National Internet Registry (NIR), making buying Internet protocol (IP) addresses faster and cheaper, and also allows transactions in local currency.
Written by Jamie Yap, Contributor

The Indian government has launched the National Internet Registry (NIR), a move that will make purchases of Internet protocol (IP) addresses faster and cheaper for locals.

With a local NIR, IP addresses will be cheaper by some 70 percent, and it will allow purchases to be made in Indian rupees instead of dollars, The Hindu Business Line reported Thursday.

It also means Internet service providers (ISPs) can now buy IP addresses from a local agency, instead of an international one which is a more time-consuming process. Prior to the NIR, applicants had to go to APNIC (Asia-Pacific Network Information Center), which is based in Australia, the report said. APNIC serves as the regional Internet registry for the Asia-Pacific region.

With a local National Internet Registry, IP addresses in India will be cheaper by some 70 percent.

The newsdaily cited an unnamed ISP as saying: "This will ultimately make the Internet services cheaper to end consumers as the service providers can sell the IP addresses cheaper to its customers." For example, if an IP address previously cost INR 108,000 (US$2,000), it now costs around INR 43,200 (US$800), it said.

Indian telecommunications and IT Minister Kapil Sibal, who launched the NIR, said it will not only reduce costs in procuring IP addresses, but also facilitate faster access to information for cybercrime investigators and government authorities.

The NIR will be run by the National Internet Exchange of India (NIXI), which was recognized by APNIC in March last year, according to the report.

Globally, IP addresses are administered by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers. While ICANN will sell IP addresses through APNIC, those in India will buy IP addresses only from NIR, the report added.

ICANN CEO Fadi Chehade recently told ZDNet Asia the U.S.-based organization plans to grow its presence in Asia and is considering Singapore as its first choice for an Asian hub. ICANN is also considering a hub in Istanbul for its EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) hub.

A separate report by The Economic Times Friday said India is in the midst of moving from IPv4 (Internet protocol version 4) to the newer IPv6, since the former has run out of addresses. Implementation of IPv6 is crucial as the government's plan to create a national broadband network will have IPv6 addresses, it added.

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