Beefed-up DISN will accelerate to 10 Gbps

'These networks need to be thought of as weapons systems,' says Diann McCoy, DISA's component acquisition executive.

Defense Department network honchos want to add muscle to their chief data transport to meet future military demands.

The Defense Information Systems Agency this month released a request for information for considerably more bandwidth on the Defense Information System Network.

Under the DISN Access Transport Services RFI, released May 5, the agency asked for industry's ideas to upgrade the network at 600 sites and permit integration with the $900 million Global Information Grid-Bandwidth Expansion program. The RFI closes today.

As part of the DISN upgrade, many legacy voice, data and video systems as well as emerging capabilities'such as the department's main network-centric warfare initiatives'will shift to IP operation. DISN currently is a switched-circuit transport system.

Diann McCoy, DISA's component acquisition executive, said the agency is trying to bring more capabilities to the grid. McCoy spoke at the recent TechNet International 2004 show in Washington.

'We are building a horizontally integrated grid for the future,' McCoy said. 'These networks need to be thought of as weapons systems.'

According to the RFI, DISN upgrades will provide leased-access transmission services at speeds up to 10 Gbps between the government-owned backbone network and customer locations. The upgrades would affect two DISN contracts that will expire over the next two years: the DISN Transmission Services CONUS (for the continental United States) and the DISN Switched/Bandwidth Manager Services CONUS.

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

The revamped DISN would serve 600 sites not covered by the global grid's 80 to 100 sites, officials said.

DISA plans to release a request for proposals for DATS in early summer and award a single performance-based, indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity contract late this summer.

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