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In 2005, the United States Office of Management and Budget (OMB) mandated that federal agencies initiate the transition to IPv6. According to the CIO Council:

The Office of Management Budget issued Memorandum M-05-22, “Transition Planning for Internet Protocol Version 6 (IPv6)”, establishing the goal of enabling all Federal government agency network backbones to support the next generation of the Internet Protocol Version 6 (IPv6) by June 30, 2008. The memorandum required the agency’s network backbone to be ready to transmit both IPv4 and IPv6 traffic, and support IPv4 and IPv6 addresses, by June 30, 2008. . . . The requirements for June 30, 2008 were for the network backbone (core) only. IPv6 did not actually have to be operationally enabled (i.e. turned on) by June 30, 2008. However, network backbones must have been ready to pass IPv6 traffic and support IPv6 addresses. Applications, peripherals, and other IT assets which are not leveraged in the execution of the functions mentioned above are not required for the June 30, 2008 deadline. CIO Guidance 2006

Moving the government's information technology from "ready" to "operational" will require additional work. On September 28, 2010, at a Department of Commerce IPv6 Workshop, OMB released a further memo Transition to IPv6 setting forth additional deadlines for the federal IPv6 transition:

In order to facilitate timely and effective IPv6 adoption, agencies shall:

  • Upgrade public/external facing servers and services (e.g. web, email, DNS, ISP services, etc) to operationally use native IPv6 by the end of FY 2012;
  • Upgrade internal client applications that communicate with public Internet servers and supporting enterprise networks to operationally use native IPv6 by the end of FY 2014.

In 2005, OMB created an IPv6 Advisory Group and tasked the CIO Council with publishing transition planning guidance. The CIO Council established an Interagency IPv6 Working Group, headed by Peter Tseronis, Senior Advisor, US Department of Energy.

OMB also directed the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) to develop standards and testing necessary to support adoption of IPv6 by US Government agencies. The NIST project is known as USGv6. NIST has developed a technical standards profile for US Government acquisition of IPv6 hosts and routers, and a specification for network protection devices. NIST is also actively establishing a testing program in order to test the compliance of products and vendors with the profile. The Government Services Administration updated the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) to reflect the IPv6 specifications, and is assisting agencies with IPv6 procurement needs.

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