Congress To Study Slow Pace Of Migration To IPv6 - InformationWeek
12:58 PM

Congress To Study Slow Pace Of Migration To IPv6

Internet Protocol Version 6, an Internet upgrade, promises a virtually limitless number of Web addresses and tighter security. Congress aims to find out why the United States hasn't yet embraced it.

Whither IPv6? Internet Protocol Version 6 (IPv6), an Internet upgrade, promises a virtually limitless number of Web addresses and tighter security. Other countries have embraced it. But why not the U.S? Congress aims to find out.

To get to the bottom of the matter, government and private sector specialists are testifying at Congressional hearings in Washington Wednesday.

The subject of the hearings says it all: "Is the Federal Government Doing Enough? Will Other Nations Surpass the U.S?" Congressman Thomas M. Davis III (R-Va.), chairman of the Committee on Government Reform, is presiding.

Although speakers from the industry, including Microsoft, are scheduled to speak, Robert White, a spokesman for the committee, said the emphasis will be on determining what can be done to assist governmental agencies in moving from IPv4 to the new version. A recent GAO report provides a roadmap to the upgrade, he added.

The GAO report, issued last month, noted that the Department of Defense is already well on its way to upgrading, but that remaining federal agencies are lagging behind. "DoD," the GAO report stated, "has made progress in developing a business case, policies, timelines, and processes for transitioning to IPv6."

The DOD is traditionally in the vanguard of advancements in technology within the government sector.

The committee, according to spokesman White, will examine U.S. private sector initiatives as well as initiatives being made by foreign nations to move to IPv6. In informal meetings in the Washington area held after the unveiling of the GAO report, several participants said foreign nations have moved more aggressively than the U.S. to embrace the new upgrade.

Many critics in Washington fear foreign nations are moving ahead more aggressively with leading edge technologies than the U.S.

Actually, the wholesale move to the new version is already underway but because the transition technology is seamless, most users don't realize the move has begun. Most computers are compatible with IPv6, but many ISPs will have to install hardware and software for the upgrade, according to some Web experts.

The chief reason for the upgrade is to dramatically broaden the number of Web addresses to include not only the expected number of mobile connections, but also to prepare for a multiplicity of sensors that will likely be linked to the Internet in the future. The 4.3 billion Web addresses currently available on IPv4 pales compared with the number to be accommodated by the upgrade: 3.4 x 10 to the power of 38 -- virtually limitless.

The upgrade also promises better security, however, the move to IPv6 brings with it a number of wireless connection issues to be resolved.

The Congressional Committee has indicated security concerns will be reviewed. "If agencies do not seek to understand the potential scope and complexities of IPv6 issues, they will face increased costs and security risks," the committee stated. "If not managed, existing IPv6 features in agency networks can be exploited by unauthorized individuals who can gain access to federal information and resources undetected."

One scheduled hearing speaker, John Curran of the American Registry for Internet Numbers, is expected to discuss Web addresses.

Jawad Khaki, a Microsoft corporate vice president, is also slated to testify.

Representatives from federal agencies scheduled to testify at the hearings include George Wauer of the Department of Defense and Karen Evans from the Office of Management and Budget.

We welcome your comments on this topic on our social media channels, or [contact us directly] with questions about the site.
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
2018 State of the Cloud
2018 State of the Cloud
Cloud adoption is growing, but how are organizations taking advantage of it? Interop ITX and InformationWeek surveyed technology decision-makers to find out, read this report to discover what they had to say!
Tech Vendors to Watch in 2019
Susan Fogarty, Editor in Chief,  11/13/2018
Getting DevOps Wrong: Top 5 Mistakes Organizations Make
Bill Kleyman, Writer/Blogger/Speaker,  11/2/2018
AI & Machine Learning: An Enterprise Guide
James M. Connolly, Executive Managing Editor, InformationWeekEditor in Chief,  9/27/2018
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
Current Issue
The Next Generation of IT Support
The workforce is changing as businesses become global and technology erodes geographical and physical barriers.IT organizations are critical to enabling this transition and can utilize next-generation tools and strategies to provide world-class support regardless of location, platform or device
White Papers
Twitter Feed
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.
Sponsored Video
Flash Poll