NMCI's mobile users pick up more speed

Mobile users of the Navy-Marine Corps Intranet are getting high-speed access to the portal. The Navy expects to deploy a software broadband to 60,000 employees who use notebook PCs by December.

Users had asked EDS Corp., prime contractor on NMCI, for easier access to all NMCI portal services when traveling or working remotely.

EDS began a phased rollout of a Broadband Unclassified Remote Access Solution (BuRAS) in July. Users remotely connect to the NMCI network through high-speed Internet connections, using an existing broadband service.

Previously, remote workers could only connect to the NMCI network through a virtual private network and a dial-up connection. The BuRAS application is capable of handling Ethernet speeds.

Certain computer seats, such as those involved in NMCI science and technology and development, will not have access to the broadband connections because of security concerns.

The rollout is expected to be completed in December, EDS officials said.
NMCI, an $8.8 billion program, is a consolidated voice, video and data network that will link more than 400,000 sailors and Marines at roughly 300 sites to the integrated portal.

BuRAS is a VPN software product that works with Defense public-key infrastructures for a secure, high-speed connection into the NMCI network, company officials said. Using the broadband tool, users will have access to file, print and e-mail just as if the user were directly attached to the NMCI network.

'We are relying upon industry-standard software as the basis for the VPN connection. EDS did develop some add-ons to the VPN software client that provide a visual indication to the user of what is happening as the secure connection is established,' said Barbara Mendoza, an EDS spokeswoman.

NMCI officials did not return requests for comments.

Last month, the Navy began installing anti-spam software over NMCI, using products from IronPort Systems Inc. of San Bruno, Calif., and Symantec Corp.'s Brightmail Anti-Spam software system. The spam products have the capability to process more than 200,000 e-mail messages an hour.

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