NTIA wants more info on adopting IPv6

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The National Telecommunications and Information Administration is looking for more information about adopting a next-generation internet protocol that could accommodate the growing number of internet-connected “smart” devices, such as phones, watches and cars.

In a request for public comment released Thursday, the NTIA said it wants to hear from organizations that have adopted IPv6 — the most up-to-date IP protocol responsible for providing each internet-connected device with a unique IP address. It’s part of the organizations ongoing effort to increase IPv6 adoption.

“We want to hear from all stakeholders, particularly those who have implemented IPv6, about the factors and circumstances that influence the decision to adopt and use the protocol and what NTIA can do to promote greater adoption of IPv6,” NTIA wrote in a blog post announcing the request.

NTIA is looking for feedback on several topics, including the obstacles, incentives, motivations, implementation costs and promotional efforts associated with IPv6.

IPv6 is an upgrade from IPv4, the current, more widely used protocol, which only offers about 4 billion IP addresses. But the number of available addresses is quickly shrinking. Meanwhile, IPv6 offers “340 undecillion addresses, or 340 followed by 36 digits,” the NTIA wrote.

Even though developers have been working with IPv6 for about 20 years, just about 29 percent of Americans are using the newest protocol, according to a Google graph charting its adoption. Still, IPV6 has shot up in popularity since about 2014. About 13 percent of all global Google users work with IPv6 as of Aug. 20, compared to about 5 percent at the beginning of 2015.

In 2011, NTIA also created the IPv6 Readiness Tool for Business, which included a “comprehensive checklist for businesses preparing to deploy and adopt IPv6,” the blog post said.

Comments are due by Oct 3 and can be submitted directly to ipv6@ntia.doc.gov. Read the Federal Register notice for more information.

Contact the reporter on this story via email: Jeremy.Snow@FedScoop.com. Follow him on Twitter @JeremyM_Snow. Sign up for the Daily Scoop — all the federal IT news you need in your inbox every morning — here: fdscp.com/sign-me-on.

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