Sprint wins bulk of DOD low-speed network services

Sprint captured the largest initial order on a new $600 million, multiple vendor, 10-year Defense Department contract to provide relatively low-speed network services departmentwide across the United States.

The Defense Information System Agency created the program to meet the needs of DOD organizations that are not located near a major wideband DOD communications node in the lower 48 states. AT&T Government Markets and MCI WorldCom also were awarded contracts.

Frank Pacello, DOD branch manager at Sprint Government Markets, said his company won a three-year contract to provide 534 of the 666 circuits covered by the new Defense Information Systems Network (DISN) contract, indicating that "we are very competitive in this market. This was a price-based competition." Pacello congratulated DISA for "taking a multivendor approach. It levels the playing field."

Pete Paulson, chief of networks for DISA, said DOD needs the new contract vehicle - the DISN Transmission Services-Continental U.S. Extension - "because we still have a requirement to provide a significant number of subT-1 [1.544 megabits/sec] circuits...which we then typically plug into our backbone."

Paulson said these circuits connect DOD units or activities, such as a recruiting station in a small city or a remote radar site into a DISN wideband hub. There, he explained, the smaller circuits are bundled together for transmission on the wideband DISN transmission network operated by AT&T.

Paulson called multiple vendor contracts "a new way of doing business.... We want to see what this kind of competition can do for us." Paulson described the subT-1 circuit requirements as "mostly regional [rather than transcontinental] in nature," and he believes that this will play to strengths one or more of the vendors on the new contract have in various areas of the country.

Warren Suss, a Pennsylvania analyst who follows the federal market, said the new multiple vendor contract marks a new approach for DISA, which in the past has awarded major contracts only to single carriers. "DISA's strategy is now to treat transport as a commodity," Suss said, adding that he expects DISA to "aggressively" compete new circuit requirements between the three vendors.

Featured

  • Cybersecurity
    secure network (bluebay/Shutterstock.com)

    Federal CISO floats potential for new supply chain regs

    The federal government's top IT security chief and canvassed industry for feedback on how to shape new rules of the road for federal acquisition and procurement.

  • People
    DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, shown here at her Nov. 8, 2017, confirmation hearing. DHS Photo by Jetta Disco

    DHS chief Nielsen resigns

    Kirstjen Nielsen, the first Homeland Security secretary with a background in cybersecurity, is being replaced on an acting basis by the Customs and Border Protection chief. Her last day is April 10.

  • Management
    workflow (Urupong Phunkoed/Shutterstock.com)

    House Dems oppose White House reorg plan

    The White House's proposal to reorganize and shutter the Office of Personnel Management hit a major snag, with House Oversight Democrats opposing any funding of the plan.

Stay Connected

FCW INSIDER

Sign up for our newsletter.

I agree to this site's Privacy Policy.