DISA seeks bandwidth tech ideas

The Defense Information Systems Agency is seeking industry feedback on technologies that will add bandwidth to the Defense Information Systems Network.

Under the DISN Access Transport Services request for information, released last week, the Defense agency is looking to industry for ideas to upgrade the older network at roughly 600 sites so it can be integrated with the $900 million Global Information Grid-Bandwidth Expansion program.

As part of the DISN upgrade, many legacy voice, data and video systems, as well as emerging capabilities'such as the department's premier network-centric warfare initiatives'will move to operate over IP. DISN currently operates via a switched-circuit transport system.

Evelyn DePalma, director of procurement and logistics at DISA, said the DATS contract will help meet the agency's vision of providing information anywhere and anytime.

DePalma spoke at the TechNet International 2004 show in Washington, D.C., yesterday.

According to the RFI, which closes on May 24, DATS will provide leased access transmission services between the government-owned backbone network and customer locations. The transmission services will be required to support bandwidths up through OC-192.

The DATS contract will provide similar services to two current DISA contracts that are expiring over the next two years, including the DISN Transmission Services CONUS (Continental United States) contract and the DISN Switched/Bandwidth Manager Services CONUS contract.

'These two contracts currently provide a large portion of the switching infrastructure and transmission services for the existing DISN in CONUS,' according to the RFI.

The DATS contract will bring a revamped DISN to the roughly 600 sites not covered by the grid. GIG-BE will cover between 80 and 100 sites, officials said.

DISA is expected to release a request for proposals on DATS in early summer. The agency plans to award a single, performance-based, indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity contract in late summer.

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