MERS Mobile Emergency Operations Vehicle at Disaster Site (FEMA)

DHS awards emergency comms services contract

To ensure the nation has communications capabilities to meet national security and emergency preparedness needs under all  levels of stress, the  Homeland Security Department has awarded a potential five-year, $325.4 million contract to General Dynamics for services in support of U.S. emergency telecommunications infrastructure.

This contract supports the DHS Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency’s Emergency Communications Division, which is responsible for working with public- and private-sector organizations to ensure key stakeholders have access to priority telecommunications and restoration services in the event of a major disaster, terrorist attack or act of war.

That group of stakeholders can include public safety, national security and emergency preparedness entities.

Solicitation documents describe the work as providing and maintaining priority services, which include legacy Government Emergency Telecommunications Service, Special Routing Arrangement Service, Wireless Priority Service and Next Generation Network Priority Service.  The contract also covers planning and implementing changes to existing telecom systems to keep up with new wireless technology developments including 5G.  Interfaces to and interoperability with FirstNet and other government networks is also required.

General Dynamics' tasks involve coordination with carriers like AT&T, Verizon and Sprint, plus other service providers and vendors to acquire and stand up priority telecom service so it is available at all times.

This article was first posted to Washington Technology, a sibling site to GCN.

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