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National Internet Exchange of India Launches Digital Payment Gateway

The National Internet Exchange of India (NIXI), a not-for-profit company under the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY), aims to make the Internet universally accessible. To facilitate its customers and partners, NIXI has gone digital by enabling digital payments across its three business units by integrating payment gateways on all its customer-facing websites for ease of use.

According to a press release, this integration will enhance convenience for NIXI’s customers by offering real-time payments, providing uninterrupted services, and ensuring a seamless experience for all stakeholders. An official from the organisation noted that NIXI has been contributing to the government’s flagship Digital India initiative by helping make the country’s Internet infrastructure self-reliant, robust and secure. The payment gateway, which was launched in partnership with private players, will ensure more digital independence and transparency in NIXI’s ecosystem, the official added. NIXI provides Internet technology to Indian citizens through:

  • Internet exchanges through which Internet data is traded among Internet service providers (ISPs) and between ISPs and CDNs
  • Selling, managing and operating all .IN country code domains
  • Selling, managing, and operating Internet protocol (IPv4/IPv6) as authorised by APNIC, Australia

The Department of Telecom (DoT) has set December 2022 as the deadline for ISPs to make changes to their network, including upgrading modem and routers for customers as required by the latest Internet protocol IPv6. 30 June 2022 is the last date for government organisations to complete the transition to IPv6. As per a news report by The Times of India, the communication protocol (IPv6) is responsible for providing identification and local systems for computers on different networks, while also enabling the movement of traffic on the Internet. All new retail wireline customer connections provided by service providers after 31 December 2022, will be capable of carrying IPv6 traffic either on the dual-stack or native IPv6, the government announced recently.

The DoT had released the first and second roadmap to roll out IPv6 addresses in the country in 2010 and 2012, which can grant several trillions of unique Internet addresses unlike the old regime of IPv4, which has a limit of 3 billion IP addresses. The report noted that the growth in the number of devices connecting to the Internet has fuelled demand for IPv6 addresses. India has around a 50% share in IPv6 addresses globally. The transition to IPv6 even with a dual-stack mode will aid Internet usage especially in the context of the work-from-home regime, the Internet-of-Things (IoT) ecosystem, and upcoming 5G services.

Additionally, the transition to IPv6 will enhance the network security because of the built-in ‘IPsec’ feature. With the proliferation of IPv6 addresses, India can create its own secure Internet infrastructure by setting up root servers for communication within the country’s geographical boundaries. At present, 13 root servers play a vital role in working on the Internet globally. 11 root servers are located in the US and one each in Europe and Japan. Under the present global regime, the Internet can stop working if any of the root servers are switched off. With an indigenous root server, India can continue to communicate within its own jurisdiction after the transition to IPv6. The United States has already decided to switch off IPv4 addresses by 2024, the report added.

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