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Revised NIST IPv6 Profile Released for Comment

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has released a second draft of a proposed standards profile to support the implementation of Internet Protocol Version 6 (IPv6) by government agencies. IPv6 is the next-generation communication standard that defines how text, voice and video will move across the future Internet. IPv6 allows for substantially more "addresses" to identify each Internet-connected device in order to handle the ballooning number of computer devices in use.

NIST developed the "profile" to help ensure that IPv6-enabled federal information systems are interoperable, secure and able to co-exist with the current IPv4 systems. An initial draft of the NIST profile was released for comment one year ago (see "NIST Issues Draft IPv6 Technical Profile").

The second draft of A Profile for IPv6 in the U.S. Government – Version 1.0 develops a long-term strategy for 2010 and beyond. It incorporates the feedback from meetings with industry and government groups and input including more than 500 comments. The profile recommends technical standards for common network devices, such as hosts, routers, firewalls and intrusion detection systems. It also outlines the compliance and testing programs that NIST will be establishing to ensure that IPv6-enabled federal information systems are interoperable and secure, and that they work with existing IPv4 systems.

NIST is calling for comments on the draft report by Feb. 29. For more information on the profile and to contribute comments, go to

On Feb. 19, NIST will hold a meeting at its Gaithersburg campus to discuss a program that it is developing that will test compliance with its IPv6 profile. For more information on the meeting, or to register, go to

Released February 5, 2008, Updated February 6, 2023