DOD three-star wants to fine bandwidth hogs

If DOD doesn't find a way to constrain its communications demands, supply will never
catch up, said Army Lt. Gen. Douglas Buchholz, the Joint Staff's director of command,
control, communications and computers systems, at the MILCOM '97 conference last week.

How would the tax work? Simple, Buchholz said.

He gave an example of an office presenting a system plan to the Joint Requirements
Oversight Council and saying it requires 5 megabytes/sec of throughput, when the typical
system would require about 1 megabyte/sec.

"A luxury tax would be put on the difference in megabytes," Buchholz said.
"They need to bring it down or pay a tax."

The goal is to couple requirements with the ability to support them financially,
Buchholz said.

"If the ability to do it isn't enough, then we've got to throw some money into a
kitty to help build those pipes and a larger infrastructure," he said.

The tax would come from the offending parties' procurement accounts. The controversial
proposal, which has yet to be recommended by the Joint Chiefs of Staff, is bound to ruffle
some feathers among the services. Ultimately, the Office of the Secretary of Defense will
have to approve the tax plan.

"The intent is not so much to take money from the programs as to have the programs
re-evaluate their operating requirements and to cut down," Buchholz said.
"There's no economic incentive to minimize. Everybody believes communications are
free when in fact they are very expensive."

Satellite communications have become a particularly scarce commodity, in large part
because the services have been taking a free ride on the Defense Satellite Communications
System at the expense of the Air Force. That's not fair, Buchholz said.

"Try and pry them off of DSCS today. The Navy will go absolutely nuts," he

Buchholz's J-6 shop is working on a model it expects to complete next year that will
show specifically how large the gap is between DOD's bandwidth requirements and its costs.

"If you can't afford a Cadillac, you have to start looking at lesser cars,"
he said.

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