Government came knocking at Eastern Research's door

ATLANTA'Eastern Research Inc. of Moorestown, N.J., went about its business for 10 years, selling transport switches to the telecom carrier market, when something happened.

'About 18 months ago we started seeing a lot of orders coming in from federal agencies,' said Scott Rey. 'So we decided to wake up and pay attention.'

Rey was given his current title of director of federal sales, and the government has become a growing part of the company's market. Eastern Research was showcasing its switches and networking equipment at the SuperComm trade show this week.

'We've had some sizeable government orders, most of which we can't publicize,' Rey said. Many of the switches are going into the military and intelligence communities. Fort Meade, Md., home of the National Security Agency, is a good customer, he said. In many cases they are used to connect a military post or base network with a Defense Information Systems Agency network.

The company's workhorse product line is the DNX (for Digital Network Exchange) multiservice access concentrator. This is a protocol-transparent gateway from the local enterprise to the outside world, connecting copper-based edge facilities to optical core infrastructures. It supports a wide variety of domestic interfaces and their international counterparts, from narrowband such as T1 and E1, to broadband such as DS3 and ES3, and OC-3 and STM1.

That flexibility has been profitable for Eastern Research and attractive to government users, Rey said.

'That's the beauty of a transport switch, you can apply it to different markets,' he said. And 'the wide range of interfaces we support' lets government users replace aging equipment to keep legacy networks up and running. 'In a lot of places where we replace a legacy system, we're replacing racks of equipment with a single product.'

The DNX switches can support from 8 T1 connections up to 660 T1s. Fort Huachuca, Ariz., uses about 300 T1 connections.

About the Author

William Jackson is a Maryland-based freelance writer.

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