GIG-BE optical contracts start to light up

GIG-BE optical contracts start to light up

The Defense Information Systems Agency has awarded two multiyear contracts for fiber-optic network services for the Global Information Grid-Bandwidth Expansion Program.

The firm, fixed-price contracts are worth about $250 million for the fiber infrastructure and $140 million for lifecycle support. Today's awards will be followed by awards for fiber-optic equipment and additional fiber infrastructure later this year, according to a DISA announcement.

The agency declined to provide details about the fiber services and the names of the winning vendors, saying only that the contracts will provide a 'survivable, secure infrastructure.'

Tony Montemarano, GIG-BE program director, recently said the winning vendors of the fiber services contracts will establish delivery points and oversee network management, information and physical security, and commercial transport leases.

By the end of December, DISA plans to award additional contracts for GIG-BE hardware and software. It currently is wrapping up tests at vendor sites in preparation for awarding these contracts, Montemarano said.

DISA and GIG-BE prime contractor Science Applications International Corp. are visiting bidders to make sure that their systems can do what was outlined in proposals.

Based on the demonstrations, DISA will ask some bidders to send their hardware and software to AT&T Labs in Middletown, N.J., for two-and-a-half months of additional testing, Montemarano said.

GIG-BE, a worldwide, ground-based switched optical network with 10-Gbps OC-192 or faster connections, initially will serve Defense Department users at 90 sites around the globe.

The contracts will cover four areas: core and edge IP routers, multiservice provisioning platforms, optical transport systems and optical-digital cross-connect switches.

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