Fiber awards set for April

The Defense Information Systems Agency plans to award in April the remaining fiber contracts for the $877 million Global Information Grid-Bandwidth Expansion (GIG-BE) initiative, said Tony Montemarano, DISA's GIG-BE program director, during a recent interview.

On Sept. 24, 2003, DISA contracted to buy fiber-optic cable networks from two companies for $390 million so the military could begin its revolutionary plan for warfighters and analysts to rapidly post and access information and intelligence gathered by spies and sensors. Officials declined to name the winning vendors because they already laid the fiber, and their network architectures might be available online.

But on Oct. 16, 2003, DISA officials announced that the agency would recompete parts of the GIG-BE fiber contract because the two contracts awarded did not cover all the areas the military wanted serviced by fiber. Last November, the agency released a request for proposals for the remaining geographic areas, Montemarano said in a Feb. 4 interview.

The military plans to connect 101 sites worldwide with fiber so warfighters and analysts can quickly send and receive data and intelligence, he said. The new contracts call for fiber to be laid from vendors' networks to sites it does not service, he said.

The new fiber contracts likely will be worth $141 million. On Dec. 31, 2003, DISA awarded four contracts worth $336 million to four vendors to supply equipment for the GIG-BE program.

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