NTIA seeks input to guide it in future IPv6 promotional activities. NTIA invites adopters and implementers of IPv6 as well as any other interested stakeholders to share information on the benefits, costs, and challenges they have experienced, as well as any insight into additional incentives that could aid future adoption, implementation, and support of IPv6.

After analyzing the comments, the Department intends to aggregate input received into a report that will be used to inform domestic and global efforts focused on IPv6 promotion, including any potential NTIA initiatives. Comments are due on October 3, 2016.

With the explosion in the number of Internet-connected devices, the National Telecommunications & Information Administration (NTIA) sees a corresponding growth in the need for IP addresses to support the devices.

The legacy Internet Protocol version 4 (IPv4) only supports about 4.3 billion IP addresses. This is in stark contrast to the projected 200 billion devices (25 per person) by 2020. NTIA says current demand has almost exhausted the global supply of IPv4 addresses.

The Internet technical community has been working on the next-gen Internet Protocol for almost two decades. Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6) has a capacity of 2128 IP addresses, which is more than 340 undecillion addresses (340 followed by 36 digits).

While IPv4 provides nearly 4.3 billion IP addresses, IPv6 offers 2128 (or 340, 282,366,920,938,463,463,374,607,431, 768,211,456 IP addresses), a number more able to meet the rising demand for Internet connections and to support the expanding Internet of Things. This demand will continue to grow as more devices come online.

Currently, only about a third of the Internet services in the United States are IPv6 capable. With the increasing scarcity of IPv4 addresses, organizations that have not transitioned to IPv6 may find it difficult to grow on the Internet, said NTIA.