Federal Government Transition Internet Protocol Version 4 (IPv4) to Internet Protocol Version 6 (IPv6) Frequently Asked Questions

OMB - Office of E-Gov & IT


In August of 2005, the Office of Management and Budget issued Memorandum 05-22, establishing the goal of transitioning all Federal government agency network backbones to the next generation of the Internet Protocol Version 6 (IPv6), by June 30, 2008.

Internet Protocol is the ``language'' and set of rules computers use to transmit data over the Internet. The existing protocol supporting the Internet today - Internet Protocol Version 4 (IPv4) - provides the world with only 4 billion IP addresses, inherently limiting the number of devices that can be given a unique, globally routable location on the Internet. IPv6 provides the world with an almost unlimited number of available IP addresses, as well as siginificantly enhanced mobility features. Therefore, IPv6 is paramout to the continued growth of the Internet and development of new applications leveraging mobile, Internet connectivity. Although the IT community has come up with workarounds for this shortage in the IPv4 environment, IPv6 is viewed as the true long-term solution to this problem.

OMB Memorandum 05-22 identifes several key milestones and requirements for all Federal government agencies in support of the June 30, 2008 IPv6 transition date. These requirements are:

  • By November 15, 2005
    • Identify an IPv6 agency lead
    • Complete inventory of IP-aware hardware devices in network backbone
  • By February 28, 2006
    • Develop a network backbone transition plan for IPv6
    • Complete an IPv6 progress report
  • By June 30, 2006
    • Complete inventory of IP-aware applications and peripherals with dependencies on network backbone
    • Complete an IPv6 transition impact analysis
  • By June 30, 2008
    • Complete network backbone transition to IPv6

The directive is available at http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/memoranda/fy2005/m05-22.pdf .