Office of the Chief Information Officer

United States Department of Agriculture

Current Priorities

IPv6 Conversion

USDA is aggressively transitioning to IPv6 now so that the Department will be ready for the future with mature IPv6 services and security. OCIO-ENS is leading the program for the USDA-wide IPv6 conversion. For IPv6 Conversion related documents, please visit IPv6 Conversion - Resources.


DNS/DNSSEC Implementation

To prepare for the implementation of the Domain Name System Security Extensions (DNSSEC), OCIO-ENS is leading the effort to upgrade existing domain name system (DNS) equipment. DNSSEC is a suite of specifications that will significantly improve the security, reliability, and confidentiality of data transmitted across the USDA network.

IP Address Management (IPAM)

OCIO-ENS is implementing a centralized address management plan and service for administering IP addresses. This part of the effort to modernize the USDA network for the next generation will be crucial in the transition from IPv4 to IPv6.

Enterprise Cellular Pooling

OCIO-ENS manages the enterprise-level contracts and blanket purchase agreements (BPAs) for cellular service in USDA. We are developing a single ordering portal and implementing department-wide pooling of minutes for voice and data.

Quality of Service (QoS) for USDA Agencies

OCIO-ENS successfully developed a package and instructions for USDA agencies for implementing QoS on their networks. QoS is a method for marking data packets according to their priority. It ensures that time-sensitive and mission-critical uses—such as multi-media applications—have the bandwidth they need. Managing our existing data circuits more effectively saves money. It means we don’t have to buy more circuits (or can even consolidate some of them).

Networx Transition

OCIO-ENS successfully transitioned USDA from GSA’s old contracts for voice and data transmission services to its new Networx contracts. During the transition, we migrated nearly 30,000 services distributed across 5,000 domestic and international USDA sites. We also took the opportunity to inventory and close unused lines of service—resulting in future cost savings.

Unified Telecommunications Network Next Generation (UTN-NG)

USDA is a leader among federal agencies in implementing network security services. With the completion of recent upgrades of the USDA  network, “backbone,” USDA joins an elite group of federal agencies that are fully “TIC 2.0” compliant. The improved network is a reliable and secure platform for future growth and new technologies.

Enterprise Cellular Service Contracts

OCIO-ENS took advantage of the new GSA Networx contract to negotiate volume pricing with USDA’s major cellular vendors and significantly reduced the number of cell plans—from over 800 to 10 plans per vendor.