NOAA widens info pipeline
- By Matt Caterinicchia
- Jun 24, 2002
In trying to keep up with the public's demand for information, the National
Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration last week awarded a contract to an
Internet service provider to upgrade an existing connection, a NOAA official
Qwest Communications International Inc. will provide NOAA and the National
Weather Service with dedicated Internet access services to provide the public
with up-to-date information, including hurricane and fire weather forecasts
and images as well as long-range global weather patterns.
Gary Falk, the director of information technology operations in the
Office of the Chief Information Officer at NOAA, said that the demand for
NOAA's information increases dramatically all the time.
"As services become more detailed and more extensive, the quantity and
quality of information increases, as does public demand," he said. "Not
only do we provide information to the public, but we also provide a great
deal of information to universities across the country."
Qwest will provide a 155 megabits/sec optical connection that can be
upgraded to a 2.5 gigabits/sec link as NOAA's needs increase. To illustrate
the advancement of the new system, Falk said that in 1996 the system was
being run on a 10 megabits/sec connection.
The faster connection will help people looking for information on the
NOAA Web site (www.noaa.gov). "The databases are continually
updated with things like weather forecasts, etc," Falk said.
For Qwest's services, NOAA will pay a monthly fee of $36,697 based on
a one-year contract with two options.