District sees savings from Sonet services

The District of Columbia government expects to save $10 million per year in telecommunications charges by building out an OC-48 Synchronous Optical Network to connect 400 locations'office buildings as well as schools, libraries, vehicles and emergency call centers.

Deputy chief technology officer Peter Roy said DC-Net is one of the most advanced in any locality. "It's much easier to go to the next phase when you start from nothing," he said. The 911 emergency system was "badly broken," he said.

The city leases fiber-optic cabling from Verizon Communications Inc. of New York, Starpower Communications LLC of Lanham, Md., and Level 3 Communications Inc. of Broomfield, Colo., and also is installing some cable itself.

"We're not going into the phone business," Roy said. "We will contract for services during the incremental build-out starting this year."

DC-Net will support data first, then voice over IP, including 911 and Enhanced 911 calls, followed by videoconferencing, traffic lights, emergency calls, webcasting and a storage area network.

The $93 million project will pay for itself by eliminating the city's annual $30 million Verizon bill, Roy said.

Other components of DC-Net include:

  • OpenView from Hewlett-Packard Co.

  • Help desk, inventory and change management tools from Remedy Corp. of Sunnyvale, Calif.

  • Netcool security monitoring from Micromuse Inc. of San Francisco

  • Works and Transport Manager from Cisco Systems Inc.

  • X Window servers from Hummingbird Ltd. of Toronto.

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