DOD awards fiber network contract

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Global Crossing Government Markets has been awarded a Defense Department contract potentially worth $400 million to provide one of the world's largest fiber-optic networks, the company announced July 10.

The network would link more than 6,000 scientists and engineers at defense laboratories, test centers, universities and industry sites.

The contract, which was awarded July 9 but not announced by the Pentagon, requires Global Crossing to provide advanced wide-area network services for the Defense Research and Engineering Network. DREN is described as the military's premier long-haul communications service provider for the High Performance Computing Modernization Program.

Global Crossing will design, develop and manage a secure, virtual private network, enabling users to communicate and collaborate in real time throughout the United States, Puerto Rico, Guam and other territories. Asia Global Crossing will provide connectivity in the Asia-Pacific region.

Specifically, the company will provide advanced data networking services, including Internet Protocol service and Asynchronous Transfer Mode service, and wavelength services, such as video, audio, imaging and digital data.

The award is a three-year, $137 million contract with seven one-year options. If all options are exercised, the value of the contract could reach $400 million, according to a company announcement.

"This DREN agreement represents a significant opportunity for Global Crossing to service the U.S. government and underscores the company's commitment to helping governments worldwide meet their communication and connectivity needs," said Paul Kayatta, president of Global Crossing Government Markets.

"The Office of the Secretary of Defense is investing a significant amount of funding in high-performance computing to provide the United States military with a technological advantage to support warfighting requirements," said Rodger Johnson, the Pentagon's DREN program manager.

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