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NIST is Working with other USG agencies and industry to develop and maintain the standards, test program, deployment guidance and test and measurement tools necessary to provide the technical basis for wide-scale adoption of IPv6 in the USG. 


OMB directed [OMB-2010, OMB-2005]the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) to develop the technical infrastructure (standards and testing) necessary to support wide-scale adoption of IPv6 in the US Government (USG).  

In response, NIST developed a technical standards profile for US Government acquisition of IPv6-enabled networked information technology. The USGv6 Profile includes a forward-looking set of protocol specifications published by the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF),  encompassing basic IPv6 functionality, and specific requirements and key optional capabilities for routing, security, multicast, network management, and quality of service.  The profile also contains NIST defined requirements for IPv6 aware firewalls and intrusion detection systems.  The program also I established a robust testing infrastructure to enable IPv6 products to be tested for compliance to profile requirements and for interoperability by accredited laboratories using standardized test methods.

USGv6 Program

Major Accomplishments


USGv6 Revision 1 Specifications 

 The first version of the of the USGv6 standards profile was published in 2008 and the USGv6 test program became operational in 2009.   In the years since the USGv6 Program (as the effort is commonly known) has been referenced in Federal Acquisition Regulations, used as the basis for USG Agency strategic plans and acquisition policies and has resulted in the detailed documentation and test of IPv6 capabilities in a large number of commercial products.

This first major revision of the USGv6 program updates the standards profiles and testing program to achieve several goals:

  1. To update the set of Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) specifications that form the basis for the USGv6 profile to their latest published version.
  2. To add new specifications for important IPv6 capabilities that have been developed since the publication of the first profile. 
    • Highlights of these additions include technologies to support emerging use cases such as the Internet of Things, new forms of IPv6 transition technologies, support for “IPv6 Only” environments, and better support for specification of IPv6 enabled applications.
  3. To remove specifications for IPv6 capabilities included in the first version of the profile but that has since failed to achieve significant support in commercial products and network deployments.
  4. To update and consolidate the description of the USGv6 Test Program to reflect the lessons learned in the operation of that program to date.
    • Highlights of these changes include a more concise and consistent notation for documenting IPv6 capabilities, better support for testing in IPv6-Only environments, and an improved and streamlined Supplier’s Declaration of Conformity (SDOC) for documenting test results.
  5. To separate the definition of IPv6 Capability Profiles from their specific use in USG acquisition programs so as to permit other user groups to re-use the capability profiles and their aligned product testing programs.

To achieve this last goal, we have divided the original USGv6 profile into two separate documents.   The NIST IPv6 Profile defines a basic taxonomy of IPv6 capabilities as defined in IETF specifications, resulting in named capability sets for common network functions and usage scenarios.    The USGv6 Profile defines how this generic capability profile should be used by USG agencies in acquisitions.

Final Draft of USGv6 Revision 1 Specifications:

NIST and its partners in the USGv6 Program have revised the specifications below following the 3rd and final public comment period. 

  1. "NIST IPv6 Profile"DRAFT-Final-NIST-SP-500-267Ar1, February 2020.
  2.  "NISTv6 Capabilities Table", DRAFT-NIST-SP-500-267Ar1s , February 2020.
  3.  "USGv6 Profile", DRAFT-Final-NIST-SP-500-267Br1,   February 2020.
  4.  "USGv6 Capabilities Table", DRAFT-Final-NIST-SP-500-267Br1s, February 2020.
  5.  "USGv6 Test Program Guide", DRAFT-Final-NIST-SP-500-281Ar1, February 2020.
  6.  "USGv6 Suppliers Declaration of Conformity", DRAFT-SP-500-281Ar1s, February 2020.
  7. "USGv6 Test Methods: General Description and Validation"DRAFT-Final-NIST-SP-500-281Br1, February 2020.

Questions or comments about these specifications should be submitted to: 

These revised drafts are awaiting final publication.  Once published, the "DRAFT" labels will be removed and the links updated to the official publication point. 

Created August 15, 2016, Updated June 9, 2020