Army official: 'We're bandwidth hogs'

The Army could always use more bandwidth, but the service does have enough to accomplish its missions if it's willing to revamp its business practices and truly take advantage of its resources, according to one technology leader.

Col. Nick Justice, program manager of Force XXI Battle Command Brigade and Below in the Program Executive Office Command, Control and Communications Systems-Tactical (PEO C3T), said that he could always fill up more bandwidth if it were made available. However, the Army is not using its bandwidth "in efficient, effective processes," he said, speaking May 29 at Army IT Day in McLean, Va.

"We're bandwidth hogs," Justice told Federal Computer Week. "We want more. It's a [natural] quest for us," like people who constantly upgrade to faster processors for their computers.

For example, Justice said that when sending information, users often could simply transmit overlays or icons instead of large Microsoft Corp. Word documents or PowerPoint presentations.

"Amateur radio operators are doing the same things globally on extremely [low] bandwidth," he said. "We don't know a better way of doing business. We need to stop and re-engineer processes."

Justice's comments don't appear to be the Army's party line on the bandwidth issue. Three of the service's top information technology officials — Kevin Carroll, program executive officer for Enterprise Information Systems; Miriam Browning, principal director for enterprise integration; and Daniel Bradford, director of the Army's Technology Integration Center at Fort Huachuca, Ariz. — agreed that bandwidth is one of the Army's top technology obstacles as it attempts to form its enterprise infostructure vision and achieve its knowledge-management goals. That trio's comments came last month at the Army Small Computer Program's Information Technology conference in Reno, Nev.

Army IT Day was sponsored by the Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association's Northern Virginia chapter and the Signal Corps Regimental Association's Washington, D.C.-Albert J. Myer chapter.

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