GIG-BE equipment contracts coming soon

The Defense Information Systems Agency on Dec. 19 will award Global Information Grid-Bandwidth Expansion equipments contracts worth about $386 million, according to one vendor.

"We're in the hunt" for a GIG-BE equipment contract, said Dubhe Beinhorn, vice president of Juniper Networks Inc.'s new Federal Systems division this week.

Juniper, located in Sunnyvale, Calif., is believed to competing against arch-rival Cisco Systems Inc., located in San Jose, Calif., to build IP routers for the new Defense Department network meant to let warfighters and analysts access and post intelligence information more quickly and easily than they do today.

DISA officials told Juniper that equipment contract winners would be notified on Dec. 19, Beinhorn said. The agency has publicly said it will award GIG-BE equipment contracts in December.

For the past four months, DISA has tested hardware in four GIG-BE equipment categories, said a former agency official knowledgeable of the program. The official, now working for a commercial company, said the equipment tests included long-haul optics, optical cross switches, multiservice provisioning platforms and IP routers, of which Juniper and Cisco are in competition.

"It would be fantastic to win and bad to lose. But [losing] would not be the end of the world," Beinhorn said.

Juniper is also providing IP routers for the National Security Agency's Project Groundbreaker and Trailblazer programs, said Bob Stevens, director of federal operations at Juniper Federal Systems. The multibillion-dollar initiatives aim to update NSA's hardware, software, and signals intelligence gathering and processing systems.

This week Juniper started a new federal division, located in Herndon, Va., to handle its growing government work, Beinhorn said. The company needs an office presence in the Washington, D.C. area, to administer to military and civilian customers, follow new business programs and to show the government that the company values its business, Beinhorn and Stevens said.

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