Draft documents signal kickoff for N/MCI

The Navy intends to outsource almost all of its information technology infrastructure for Navy and Marine Corps units and bases in a mammoth undertaking that industry sources value at more than $2 billion.

The Navy formally kicked off the contract for the domestic Navy/Marine Corps Intranet (N/MCI) late Thursday, with the draft acquisition documents stating that the Navy intends to outsource its domestic IT infrastructure, which with more than 500,000 seats, would make it the largest outsourcing project in the world.

According to the documents, the Navy "intends to develop a long-term relationship with the commercial sector [that] transfers both the responsibility and the risk for providing and managing the vast majority of [its]...desktop, server, infrastructure, communication assets and services.'' Industry would provide IT as a service, not a commodity, to Navy and Marine Corps users in the United States, excluding Alaska.

The scope of the project, as outlined in the draft N/MCI documents, ranges from laptop and desktop computers, to basewide local-area networks and the long-haul communications networks designed to hook bases and commands into a continent-spanning wide-area network capable of handling wide-band video and data as well as voice. The WAN would feed into domestic fleet communications hubs that would connect the domestic network with overseas Navy and Marine bases as well as ships at sea.

The Navy also expects industry top provide it with commercial wireless communications services, including nationwide cellular telephone and paging services and deployable satellite dishes.

The Navy wants industry to provide a highly secure network that has information assurance built in as well as an infrastructure that can rapidly adapt to changes in IT technology. The Navy asked potential bidders to respond to its request for information by Oct. 29 and plans to issue a formal request for proposals in December.

More information is available from the Navy Contracts Directorate at www.contracts.hq.navsea.navy.mil/home.html.

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