Army hunts for more bandwidth

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The head of the Army's enterprise integration efforts last week called on industry to help it solve a bandwidth problem.

Miriam Browning, the Army's principal director of enterprise integration, said that as the Army continues to sign new accounts onto its Army Knowledge Online portal, the lack of bandwidth has become more of a problem. The portal — which soldiers anywhere in the world can use to access Army information, news, education and training opportunities, as well as knowledge centers and e-mail — has more than 609,000 accounts and expects more than 1.2 million before completion.

"We're looking for solutions on bandwidth," Browning said Oct. 23 at the Government Electronics and Information Technology Association's Vision Conference in Alexandria, Va. "As we look at enterprise management of the Army, one of the core technology architecture issues we have to solve is more ubiquitous, high-speed bandwidth across the Army."

Browning said that unlike other IT initiatives that have gained greater prominence since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, bandwidth management has "always been a high priority."

With regard to the Army's overall enterprise IT plans and knowledge management goals, Browning said the service would like to reduce its "IT footprint because it's less secure and more costly than we would like it" to be.

The Army is studying and debating options for a single information management/IT organization and management authority for the service. Personnel in that office would act as "operators for the [chief information officer]," but no deadline for implementation has been established, Browning said.

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