Now hear this--sidebar

For the first wave of acquisitions to build the Defense
Department's new global network, the Defense Information Systems Agency has divided the
requirements into four buys.

One contractor will build and run the basic network architecture for the Defense
Information Systems Network. As many as nine contractors will provide DISN transmission
services. One contractor will meet the department's worldwide videoteleconferencing needs.
And finally, one contractor will be DISA's helping hand for the DISN program.

DISA first plans to award the DISN Integration and Support Services-Global contract. So
far, it's the only project that has a final request for proposals.

Essentially, the DSSG contractor will provide a small army of systems and
communications engineers, software programmers, quality assurance personnel and other
specialists to help DISA award and implement the other DISN contracts.

The most demanding requirements will be met by the winner of the DISN Switch/Bandwidth
Manager Services-Continental United States contract. The DS/BMSC contractor will own the
switching and multiplexing equipment but must dedicate it to DISN traffic. The winning
vendor also will handle the conversion of legacy DOD networks to DISN.

This vendor must provide the network's security, too. The draft solicitation said the
DS/BMSC contractor will design protective measures for facilities and personnel, serve as
a security systems accreditation and certification coordinator, and generate security
incident reports.

For the DISN Transmission Services-CONUS contract, DISA has split the work into nine
sections. One portion of the DTSC work involves providing synchronous optical network
transmission services between 23 bandwidth management hubs run by the DS/BMSC contractor.
The draft solicitation called for speeds from OC-3, or 155 megabytes/sec, to OC-12, 622

The eight other work areas are defined by DISA's eight geographical regions. Regional
service access contractors will provide over 3,000 links between the Sonet hubs to connect
some 500 military bases and other installations. For these transmissions, DISA wants at
least T-1 lines.

The draft RFP for the smallest of the initial contracts, the DISN Videoteleconferencing
Services-Global, calls for dedicated, point-to-point and multipoint systems that will use
the emerging DISN infrastructure. The DVSG contractor also will be responsible for phasing
out existing military videoteleconferencing systems and converting users to the new

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