OMB: Agencies to implement IPv6 by June 2008

The Office of Management and Budget plans to set a deadline of June 2008 for all government agencies to transition their network backbones to IP Version 6. Once network backbones are running the new protocols, applications and connecting networks will be brought up to date.

The deadline is part of a policy memorandum OMB is preparing that will offer guidance for “an orderly and secure transition to IPv6,” said Karen Evans, OMB’s administrator for e-government and IT. “Setting this firm date is necessary to maintain focus on this important issue.”

Evans testified today before the House Committee on Government Reform. Afterward she told GCN the memorandum was currently “up for interagency review right now,” but declined to say when the final document might be released. Once OMB receives feedback from agencies, it will issue the policy, she said.

The OMB guidance will fall into five areas, Evans told the committee.
  • Agencies will first have to bone up on IPv6 transition issues as laid out but the Government Accountability Office, the Commerce Department and the Homeland Security Department’s US-CERT advisory of IPv6 security concerns.

  • Agencies will assign a person to oversee IPv6 transition.

  • Agencies will inventory existing IP-capable devices to help establish a baseline for beginning the transition. OMB expects to receive reports in the first quarter of fiscal 2006.

  • Agencies will conduct an impact analysis to determine the fiscal and operational effects of IPv6. These reports will also be due to OMB in the first quarter of fiscal 2006 and include cost and risk analyses.

  • OMB will direct the CIO Council to develop more detailed guidance by the end of the calendar year, including schedules, milestones and test plans for IPv6 interoperability.

OMB will use its Enterprise Architecture Assessment Framework to measure how agencies integrate IPv6 into their enterprise architectures.

“Since there is a large embedded base of IPv4-compatible equipment and applications, transitioning to IPv6 will ... require large capital investments and labor resources,” Evans said.

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