Global Information Grid technology

Last year, the NSA selected three vendor teams—ViaSat Inc., L-3 Communications and General Dynamics C4 Systems—to compete to develop Gigabit Ethernet encryptors (GigEE) to support the secure exchange of top-secret information via commercial IP-based, wide-area networks at speeds of at least 1 gigabit/sec.

Jerry Goodwin, director of network systems at ViaSat, said since the encryptorGigEE technology won't be ready until about 2005, the commercial market for such products is weak.there is currently a weak customer base for even faster solutions. But by providing development funding now and forming groups to consider future requirements, Goodwin said the National Security Agency and the Defense Department are on the right track.

Early GIG-BE bandwidth expansion users will have to "start with 100 megabits/sec encryption products, define an upgrade path, and go from there," Goodwin said.

Optical technology gives DOD the flexibility and scalability it needs to meet current and future communications requirements, and is another GIG-BE component where DISA is challenging industry to produce, Horback said.

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