The deadline date of Sept. 30, 2012, for all U.S. federal government agencies to support IPv6 on their public-facing Web sites and Web services. An estimated 10,000 Web sites fall under this mandate, which could help drive IPv6 deployment in the United States during the next 12 months.
The Obama Administration established IPv6 in 2010. The federal IPv6 mandate also requires agencies to upgrade internal client applications that communicate with public Internet servers to use native IPv6. But agencies have another two years – until September 2014 – to meet this second deadline. Federal agencies are required to designate an IPv6 transition manager and to purchase network hardware and software that complies with the federal government’s IPv6 testing process.
IPv6 features an expanded addressing scheme that can support billions of devices connected directly to the Internet. But IPv6 is not backwards compatible with IPv4, which is running out of addresses. Network operators can either support both protocols in what’s called dual-stack mode or translate between IPv4 and IPv6, which could add latency and overhead cost.