DISA releases bandwidth expansion RFP

Global Information Grid Bandwidth Expansion RFP

The Defense Information Systems Agency last week issued a request for proposals (RFP) that will kick off the next phase of a project aimed at boosting the amount of high-speed bandwidth available to the military and intelligence communities.

The Global Information Grid (GIG) bandwidth expansion is a cornerstone of the Defense Department chief information officer's vision for network-centric operations, in which data is posted on networks and made available departmentwide.

The RFP, issued March 7, includes specifications for equipment and fiber to bring the enhanced bandwidth to 92 approved locations worldwide. Contractors have until April 8 to reply, and awards are expected before the end of this fiscal year, according to DISA officials.

DOD CIO John Stenbit anticipates providing a global, high-speed, low-latency optical IP network to military and intelligence bases worldwide, Army Col. Robert Horback, the GIG bandwidth expansion's program manager told FCW in an interview earlier this year.

The project will enhance DOD's Defense Information System Network so that it can support OC-192 (10 gigabits/sec) of usable IP supporting all classification levels, bringing the intelligence and command and control communities onto a single architecture and infrastructure, he said.

Horback had said that the RFP might be ready in February, but DISA put out a notice March 4 that said the solicitation would be delayed until at least March 6.

The project, which was originally estimated to cost $877 million, had $15 million cut from its fiscal 2003 budget request of $517 million. It is scheduled to be complete by the end of fiscal 2004, Horback said, but officials would not say if the $360 million request for next year also had been cut.

Horback said the reduced budget was not a major issue and would not hinder in any way DOD's vision of a ubiquitous, secure, robust optical IP network supporting all information classification levels.

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