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Kenya pledges to adopt latest version of Internet Protocol to boost connectivity

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Kenya will leverage partnerships with industry to boost the adoption of Internet Protocol version 6 (IPV6) and spur the growth of the digital economy, senior officials said Thursday at a forum held on the sidelines of the International Telecoms Week underway in the Kenyan capital of Nairobi.”

Ezra Chiloba, the director-general of the Communications Authority of Kenya, said that migration to IPV6, which guarantees additional internet addresses to end users, has gathered steam, to help bridge the digital divide and tackle cybercrime.

Kenya planned a full migration from Internet Protocol version 4 to the sixth version in July, to help align with global trends, including enhancing the capacity of end-users to connect multiple devices and avert cybercrime, Chiloba said.

He said the government will leverage a conducive policy and regulatory environment, skills development, and partnership with industry to scale up the adoption of the latest version of Internet address.

“The IPV 6 address, once it is adopted on a larger scale, will boost connectivity and the country’s digital transformation. Other benefits include reduced cost of internet,” Chiloba added.

He observed that the adoption of IPV6 will also aid the deployment of emerging technologies like artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things, and cloud services to enhance data security.

The adoption rate of IPV6 in Kenya currently stands at 6.3 percent, slightly higher than the African average of 3 percent, according to statistics from the IPV6 forum, an international lobby group that promotes awareness about the deployment of the sixth version of the Internet address.

Franklin Makokha, vice director of postal and telecom services at the Communication Authority of Kenya, said the regulator has developed a master plan to guide migration to IPV6, unlocking the full potential of the country’s digital economy.

Makokha said the regulator has embarked on training, public awareness, and engaging service providers including telecom firms to fast-track the transition from IPV4 to IPV6 which could guarantee the speedy flow of traffic in cyberspace.

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