Transition to Internet Protocol Version 6 (IPv6)
The federal government has prioritized the transition of federal networks to Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6) since the release of in 2005. In 2020, OMB renewed its focus on IPv6 through the publication of .
IPv6 is the next-generation Internet protocol, designed to replace version 4 (IPv4) that has been in use since 1983. Internet Protocol (IP) addresses are the globally unique numeric identifiers necessary to distinguish individual entities that communicate over the Internet. The global demand for IP addresses has grown exponentially with the ever-increasing number of users, devices, and virtual entities connecting to the Internet, resulting in the exhaustion of readily available IPv4 addresses in all regions of the world. Over time, numerous technical and economic stop-gap measures have been developed to extend the usable lifetime of IPv4, but all of these measures add cost and complexity to network infrastructure and raise significant technical and economic barriers to innovation. It is widely recognized that full transition to IPv6 is the only viable option to ensure future growth and innovation in Internet technology and services.