Qwest to rev up Energy's ESnet

Qwest to rev up Energy's ESnet

The Energy Department has chosen Qwest Communications International Inc. of Denver for a seven-year, $50 million contract to build and run the next-generation Energy Sciences Network. The contract calls for Qwest to provide up to 1 Tbps of bandwidth by 2005.

ESnet supports unclassified research by the Energy Department's national laboratories and their corporate and academic partners, said Jim Leighton, project manager at Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in Berkeley, Calif.

For the past five years, Sprint Corp. has operated ESnet, but Sprint was not one of the five bidders for ESnet III. Sprint's contract runs until August 2001.

Qwest officials said they expect to move most ESnet operations to their facilities by the end of 2000, however.

The network, now operating primarily over 155-Mbps OC-3 connections, will get an immediate boost in capacity when it changes to Qwest's 622-Mbps OC-12 network. Qwest has some OC-48 connections at 2.5 Gbps now and expects to offer 10-Gbps OC-192 rates in the near future.

'Christopher J. Dorobek and William Jackson

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