Level 3 Communications said it has migrated the government agency from IPv4 to IPv6 as part of the government's wholesale move to the new Internet Protocol. The new layer succeeds IPv4, which is likely to run out of Internet addresses by 2012.
GSA is the first civilian government agency to be in compliance with the Office of Management and Budget mandate calling for the utilization of the next IP generation.
"Due to the size and scale of the Level 3 network, our company has been a leader in the development, adoption, and deployment of new standards, and we intend to follow a similar path with regard to IPv6," said Edward Morche, general manager of Level 3's federal segment.
While the IPv4 Internet layer protocol can accommodate about 4 billion addresses, IPv6 will be able to provide more than 10 billion billion billion addresses. Network routing and management is also expected to be more efficient in IPv6.
Various government, educational, and industrial entities have been working to move to IPv6 over the past few years in fits and starts. New waves of landline and mobile addresses for a wide variety of Web-based devices are expected to eventually overwhelm the IPv4 platform. The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers has been working to smooth the changeover to the advanced IP platform.
Technologists realized in the early 1990s that the addresses offered in IPv4 were exhaustible and began working on proposed systems to upgrade to IPv6. The upgrade is expected to eventually cost several billion dollars.