DISA declares GIG-BE fiber net fully operational

The Defense Information Systems Agency declared its nationwide fiber-optic network operational today but said a few outlying nodes remain to be connected in the near future.

DISA’s Global Information Grid-Bandwidth Expansion (GIG-BE) network consists of high-speed OC-192 circuits that connect major Defense Department installations in the United States. The network can handle traffic up to the top-secret level.

DISA did not say how many GIG-BE nodes were operational today, but agency officials said earlier this year that they planned to have about 90 nodes connected by this September.

Air Force Lt. Gen. Charles Croom, DISA’s director, said GIG-BE provides DOD with “an optimized backbone similar to an interstate system where data traveling great distances can be moved at high speeds without bottlenecks.”

The fiber-optic network, which costs approximately $800 million, complements DISA’s Defense Information Systems Network, Croom said. That network connects outlying installations and DOD activities to GIG-BE.

DISA is expected to award four 10-year contracts in 2006 with a total value of as much as $3 billion to upgrade DISN circuits that connect to GIG-BE.

The 10-year DISN Access Transport Services contract will provide DISA with as many as 5,000 circuits that range from voice grade to high-speed data circuits that will connect 1,500 DOD locations to GIG-BE.

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