IPv6 Development in Hong Kong
The Internet infrastructure for Hong Kong is ready for IPv6 deployment. The Internet exchange services provided by the Hong Kong Internet Exchange (HKIX) have been supporting IPv6 since March 2004. Since 2006, the Hong Kong Internet Registration Corporation (HKIRC) has been offering IPv6 domain name services. Major Internet Services Providers in Hong Kong are aware of the IPv4 address exhaustion issue. Commercial IPv6 access services are available since 2000. Currently, a number of ISPs, data centers and Web hosting services providers in Hong Kong provide commercial IPv6 services.
The Hong Kong Government is monitoring the IPv4 address exhaustion issue, keeps in view of the IPv6 deployment in the Asia Pacific region and supports the IPv6 deployment in Hong Kong. Below are the highlights of the IPv6 activities and related parties in Hong Kong:
The Hong Kong Government
- The Government has supported academic research in IPv6 back in 2003 by providing funding for setting up an IPv6 connection between the Hong Kong Academic and Research Network (HARNET) and North America.
- In 2008, through the enhancement of Government Backbone Network, the systems of bureaux and departments can be inter-connected using IPv6.
- In 2009, the Government Internet Gateway systems have also been enhanced so that the public can access over 200 Government websites, including GovHK using IPv6 and use Internet mails to communicate with over 60 Government bureaux and departments using IPv6. Government users can now access IPv6 resources through the Internet.
- The web servers under the e-Government Infrastructure Service, the centrally-managed infrastructure service for G2C and G2B transactions, also supports IPv6.
- The Government, through participation in the International forum such as the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) and the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), has access to information on the development of IPv6 and exchange views with experts around the world.
- The Government will take the lead in migrating to IPv6. Leveraging the IPv6 Forum Hong Kong Chapter established in Cyberport in January 2007, we aim to provide the ICT industry, particularly Internet Service Providers, with technical guidance for the deployment of IPv6 to assist them to plan for the ultimate migration.
- The Government sponsored the Internet Society Hong Kong to organise the "IPv6 in Action!" project, which aims to equip businesses and Internet users with the knowledge for migration to IPv6. A thematic website was launched on 15 March 2012. Besides, an "IPv6 Consumer Guide" (16 MB) that provides guidelines on how to enable IPv6 in home and business networks was published on 6 June 2012.
- The Hong Kong Observatory launched the IPv6 network time service on 29 March 2012.
- The GovWiFi Programme launched in December 2012 supports IPv6.
HARNET is the wide area network which links up the campus networks of the eight tertiary institutions in Hong Kong. Users of HARNET can establish IPv6 connections with IPv6 sites on Internet2 and CERNET (China Education and Research Network) via HARNET. On the other hand, there are also IPv6 research projects being carried out in the Universities.
Hong Kong Internet Exchange (HKIX), the local Internet exchange point, started to operate its IPv6 exchange service in 2004.
Internet Society Hong Kong strongly supports the IPv6 development and deployment in Hong Kong. A series of IPv6 trainings and conferences are arranged to promote IPv6 development and deployment.
Hong Kong Cyberport is providing its tenants with an IPv6-based network infrastructure within its campus, which serves as a research and development platform as well as a conduit for connection to IPv6 networks outside Hong Kong since April 2006.