White House Sets IPv6 Adoption Timeline for Federal Agencies

The Obama administration gives federal agencies new deadlines for adoption of IPv6.

The Obama administration has established deadlines for federal agencies to adopt Internet Protocol Version 6.

IPv6 is an update of IPv4, and includes support for several times as many addresses as IPv4-a fact that has prompted many to call for increased IPv6 adoption.

Federal CIO Vivek Kundra wrote in a Sept. 28 memo (PDF) that all federal agencies will upgrade external facing servers and services to "operationally use native IPv6" by the end of fiscal-year 2012. In addition, agencies are required to upgrade internal client applications that communicate with public Internet servers and supporting enterprise networks to operationally use native IPv6 by the end of the 2014 fiscal year.

Agencies will also be required to designate an IPv6 transition manager and submit that person's name, title and contact information to the Office of Management and Budget by Oct. 30. The transition manager will be responsible for leading the agency's IPv6 transition efforts. In addition, agency purchases of networked technology must comply with FAR requirements for the use of the USGv6 Profile and Test Program "for the completeness and quality of their IPv6 capabilities."

Kundra's memo also said, "To facilitate the federal government's adoption of IPv6, OMB will work with NIST to continue the evolution and implementation of the USGv6 Profile and Testing Program. This program will provide the technical basis for expressing requirements for IPv6 technologies and will test commercial products' support of corresponding capabilities."

The OMB under the Bush administration mandated that all federal agencies be capable of passing IPv6 packets on their backbone networks by June 30, 2008.

Kundra released the memo in connection with a Sept. 28 workshop on the issue organized by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration.