DISN contract to boost bandwidth at home

Deal to three vendors, worth $3 billion, to upgrade Defense's legacy network

The Defense Information Systems Network finally is getting a bandwidth boost.
After numerous delays and extensions, the Defense Information Systems Agency awarded its $3 billion DISN Access Transport Services contract late last month.

DISA hired Qwest Government Services Inc., AT&T Corp. and Arrowhead Global Solutions Inc. under the 10-year, indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity multiple award contract. DISA received seven proposals.

DATS will provide upgraded, leased-access transmission services for the government-owned backbone network and connect more than a thousand military sites to the department's Global Information Grid-Bandwidth Expansion initiative. Performance will be at various locations within the United States.

DOD is requiring the transmission services to support bandwidths up to OC-192, offering 10-Gbps throughput.

As part of the DISN upgrade, many legacy voice, data and video systems as well as emerging capabilities'such as the department's main network-centric warfare initiatives'will shift to IP operation. DISN currently is a switched-circuit transport system.

The upgrades also will replace two DISN contracts: the DISN Transmission Services CON- US (for the continental United States) and the DISN Switched/Bandwidth Manager Services CONUS.

DISA issued the request for proposals for DATS in July 2005, one year after the agency initially planned to release the RFP and make contract awards. Officials chalked the delays up to the complex nature of the initiative.

'The complexity of the procurement generated a number of discussions that had to be vetted between government and industry in order to make a fair award,' a DISA spokesperson said.

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