Big buy planned for GIG-BE


The Defense Information Systems Agency plans to kick off an acquisition next week of 3,000 to 5,000 circuits to flesh out the Global Information Grid-Bandwidth Expansion (GIG-BE) network.

Agency officials plan a May 25 release of the Defense Information Systems Network (DISN) Access Transport Services (DATS) solicitation, Tony Montemarano, the agency's GIG-BE program director, told Federal Computer Week today. It would probably be one of the largest network acquisitions in DISA's pipeline, said Montemarano, who declined to put a price tag on DATS.

Executives of telecommunications companies interviewed this week at the annual AFCEA International TechNet conference speculated that the procurement for the fiber-optic network could be worth $300 million to $500 million over a 10-year period.

Agency officials expect the access services acquisition to provide what Montemarano described as "the tail" between 404 nodes on the current DISN and the nodes on GIG-BE, which should have between 85 and 88 nodes by September. The DATS circuits will mainly connect military facilities to the GIG-BE, Montemarano said, adding that in some cases, the circuits will provide point-to-point connections between DISN nodes without using GIG-BE as the transport.

The DATS contract will replace MCI and AT&T contracts that expire next year, and will also allow the agency to maximize use of GIG-BE, with all voice, video and data traffic running via that network based on IP, Montemarano said. DISA plans to award up to four regional DATS contracts, he added.


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