Satellite telework should work, too

I read with great interest George Spohn's column, "The case for telework," in your Nov. 22 issue. I agree wholeheartedly with him that satellite is one of the most viable, proven and overlooked broadband connectivity options out there.

What is missing from most telework policies in government and the commercial sector is a requirement to accommodate satellite-based teleworkers. This is a significant issue in that most information technology solutions for secure virtual private network connections simply do not work via satellite connections.

For teleworkers to be able to do their work via satellite, a special VPN solution is required. This means that IT staffers need to switch to a single solution that truly supports satellite technology and meets teleworkers' needs. Otherwise, they will have to support two VPNs.

From the onset, telework policy-makers must include satellite-based teleworkers in all discussions about policy and technical implementation.

John M. Willis
Chief Executive Officer

Editor's note: Willis' company specializes in satellite-based telework services.

We're American

The Sept. 27 issue of Federal Computer Week included a story, "Cebrowski: JTRS should promote performance," that describes the manufacturer of certain radios as "a division of the French company Thales."

To set the record straight, the multimode, multiband AN/ PRC-148 was developed and is manufactured by Thales Communications, based in Clarksburg, Md. Thales Communications is a proxy company that is legally empowered by the government to operate as a fully U.S. company, separated from the French Thales parent company and free of foreign ownership, control and influence. This situation gives Thales Communications the ability to fully participate in DOD-related projects.

Our connection with our French parent is a subject we are sensitive to and which desire to have understood.

Lewis Johnston
Vice President of Advanced Programs
Thales Communications

Give proper credit

The Nov. 15 article "DOD brass: Coalitions need info sharing" gives the uneducated reader the distinct impression that the Combined Enterprise Regional Information Exchange System (CENTRIXS) resulted from the efforts of the Navy and Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) during the past two years. This impression is incorrect.

Until recently, the global CENTRIXS effort and its many successes were the result of the hard work and dedication of the CENTRIXS Program Management Office staff, part of the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Networks and Information Integration and Chief Information Officer. Rich Radcliffe was the program manager.

During the past two months, Navy and DISA officials have begun to grab the CENTRIXS reins, under the larger umbrella of the Multinational Information Sharing program.

The CENTRIXS legacy and its successful operational support for warfighters during the past 30 months or so can be directly attributable to the program office staff working as a team with the regional combatant command staffs.

Tim Mathews
Intell Systems and Architecture
Pacific Command

SBA not ignoring status policies

Dave Nadler's Sept. 27, 2004, column, "New size rules fall short," incorrectly assumes that Small Business Administration officials are ignoring the problem of businesses holding long-term contracts after they outgrow their small-business status.

The March 19, 2004, final rule mentioned by Nadler addressed a number of technical and procedural matters unrelated to the recertification of small-business status.

SBA officials published a proposal April 25, 2003, to require an annual recertification of small-business status on multiple-award contracts and other long-term contracts and they requested comments on other approaches. The comments received on that proposed rule show no consensus on the best approach. Interim policies implemented by the General Services Administration and the Office of Management and Budget have temporarily resolved this issue.

SBA officials agree that a new policy on small-business status on long-term contracts is necessary in today's acquisition environment, and they are committed to issuing a final rule in the near future that will establish a consistent, governmentwide policy for these types of contracts.

Gary M. Jackson
Assistant Administrator for Size Standards
Small Business Administration

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