IPv6 and Networx
Carriers say most civilian agencies will deploy IPv6 through the Networx contract, a 10-year telecom program open to all federal agencies. Networx carriers include AT&T, Verizon, Qwest, Sprint and Level 3 Communications.
"Anybody who buys services off the Networx contracts will have IPv6 capabilities," Evans says. "That was another big key thing with our IPv6 strategy. All the agencies are moving off [predecessor contract] FTS 2001 and transitioning to Networx...[Agencies] are going to be able to buy IPv6 as a service from those providers."
Sprint, for example, has submitted a contract modification to its Networx Enterprise contract for dual-stack IPv6 and IPv4 service.
"It's probably a matter of days or weeks for approval," White says. "IPv6 is something [the agencies] are expecting the carriers to take care of for them."
Global Crossing, which provides IPv6 services on the Networx Universal contract as a subcontractor to AT&T, says the carrier has received more inquiries from federal agencies about its IPv6 services during the last 90 days but hasn't closed any sales yet.
"The IPv6 discussions oftentimes evolve into deeper technical discussions on next-generation technologies like MPLS, VOIP and converged services," says Scott Camarotti, vice president of sales for federal markets for Global Crossing. "Those are some of the byproducts of the OMB IPv6 mandate."
Even though sales of IPv6 services remain weak, carriers say OMB's IPv6 mandate has had a significant impact in the federal market, particularly on civilian agencies. The Department of Defense and Department of Homeland Security have long-standing plans to adopt IPv6 as quickly as possible for its enhanced network security, mobility and the ability to support sensors and other embedded devices.
"IPv6 is going to keep on going" after June 30, predicts Paul Girardi, engineering team lead for AT&T Government Solutions. "Because of the mandate, agencies understand that it has to be part of every major procurement. Everything we are looking at has IPv6 requirements. Also, at the end of the day there will come a time where you won't be able to get IPv4 addresses. The whole industry has to go this way whether we like it or not."