Army taps AT&T for Fort Bliss data network update

The Army has awarded AT&T Government Solutions a four-year contract worth as much as $9.8 million to build a high-speed data network at its base at Fort Bliss, Texas. Under the contract, AT&T will provide design, engineering, installation and testing services for the base's new 10 Gigabit Ethernet backbone network, in addition to providing and securing network equipment.

The Army's Project Manager Defense Communications and Army Switched Systems organization awarded the contract to AT&T's federal government contracting arm as part of its Infrastructure Modernization Program to overhaul data networks at Army bases and facilities worldwide.

The Fort Bliss network will deliver Multiprotocol Label Switching /IPv6 traffic to more than 200 buildings on the base via 10 Gigabit Ethernet links built with customer premises networking equipment made by Foundry Networks.

The Army uses the 1.1 million-acre Fort Bliss facility for training, mobilizing and deploying combat forces, and it is the largest Army Training and Doctrine Command maneuver area in the country. It's also due for a significant expansion under the Army's 2005 Base Realignment and Closure blueprint, scheduled for implementation between now and 2011. The plan calls for the Army to shutter 14 major bases and consolidate operations at its remaining facilities.

As Fort Bliss gears up to be the new home for tens of thousands of additional soldiers transferred, 'the first step is to update the base's core network,' said Carl Tegen, director of defense networks at AT&T Government Solutions.

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