January 15, 2004
Clyde Ensslin or
Ranjit de Silva, 202-482-7002
COMMERCE DEPARTMENT TASK FORCE REQUESTS COMMENTS ON BENEFITS AND COSTS OF TRANSITION TO NEW INTERNET PROTOCOL
The Commerce Department’s task force studying issues related to Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6) today invited interested parties to file comments on the costs and benefits of a transition from I.P. version 4 to I.P. version 6 in a detailed notice signed by Dr. Arden L. Bement, Jr., Director of the National Institute of Standards and Technology, and Michael D. Gallagher, Acting Assistant Secretary for Communications and Information. Comments are due 45 days after publication in the Federal Register.
“Before we make any policy decisions, we must fully understand the degree to which the new standard will enable direct connectivity among wireless devices, boost the productivity of the American worker and enrich the experience of the American consumer,” said Acting Assistant Secretary Gallagher. “We also must fully explore the costs and technical impacts of large-scale deployment.”
“The interoperability among technologies is a critical element both for national competitiveness and for national security,” NIST Director Bement said. “Our task force can play a valuable role in developing an understanding of the merits of, and obstacles to, moving to IPv6. One of the objectives of our task force is to measure the current status of deployment and assess alternative future deployment scenarios, which is vitally important for policy makers.”
Commenters are invited to provide information on a variety of topics, including IPv6 characteristics that will either enhance or possibly degrade network security, and affect network access and “traceability.” Comments are also sought on the expected costs of upgrading and replacing hardware and software, and of maintaining security during transition to the new standard.
The task force, called for by President Bush’s National Strategy to Secure Cyberspace, is co-chaired by the Commerce Department’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and will operate in consultation with the Department of Homeland Security and other federal offices and agencies. The task force will issue a report of its findings and recommendations to the President later this year. The next-generation Internet Protocol provides a vastly expanded number of addresses for Internet-connected devices, and may enable new market applications, facilitate improved security and reduce operational expenses for Internet users.
The text of the notice is available at NTIA’s Web site at www.ntia.doc.gov.