Intranet still rides on DISN

One quirk of the NMCI contract is that, even though some credit EDS' contract win to the fact that the company had already set up its own wide area network, NMCI doesn't use it. Instead, network traffic is flowing over the Defense Information System Network, administered by the Defense Information Systems Agency.

A senior Navy official said that DISA negotiated capacity allocation with the Navy, and only when volumes exceed that amount does the EDS network come into use, even though the company's bid was based on making use of its own network.

'The Navy pays DISA for using the DISN, EDS doesn't,' said a company executive familiar with the program. 'When the contract was bid, it didn't include having to use the DISN. That was added later and just added delays and more people meddling.'

To Warren Suss of Suss Consulting Inc. of Jenkintown, Pa., the use of the DISN rather than EDS' network demonstrates that there is no such thing as a 'pure' seat management contract.

'Even though at 50,000 feet it looks like all NMCI,' he said, 'fundamentally it still rides on government-owned and operated infrastructure.'

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