Justice set to award network contract

ORLANDO, Fla.'The Justice Department plans to award a pair of contracts for its Justice Unified Telecommunications Network project in the next six weeks.

The department will award the primary JUTnet contract in about three weeks and a second contract about three weeks later, Justice CIO Vance Hitch said today at the Information Processing Interagency Conference.

The vendors competing for the JUTnet are AT&T Corp., MCI Corp., Sprint Corp. and Qwest Communications International Inc. of Denver, Hitch said. The company that wins the primary contract will develop a plan for running the new backbone network and the secondary winner will be the backup provider.

Justice now has seven networks linking about 30 organizations, including seven large bureaus. JUTnet will create a single, fault-tolerant network for all classification levels of voice and data communications, Hitch said.

"I realize it will take a couple of years to build this out," he said. "On our current networks there are a lot of redundancies."

JUTnet will pay for itself by increasing the efficiency of the department's network infrastructure and reducing overall comm expenditures.

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