DHS to award SBInet contract, Chertoff says

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – The Homeland Security Department plans to award a contract this month for its multibillion-dollar Secure Border Initiative (SBInet) network to help secure U.S. borders, DHS Secretary Michael Chertoff told Federal Computer Week.

Chertoff, speaking here today at the 128th annual National Guard Association of the United States General Conference, said SBInet will bring 21st-century technology to the defense of U.S. borders. DHS has not formally announced the value of SBInet, but Boeing, one of many vendors vying for the project, estimated its value at $2 billion.

Jim Albaugh, president and chief executive officer of Boeing Integrated Defense Systems, called SBInet an initiative of national significance to address a global problem.

SBInet is intended to help DHS protect U.S. southern land borders, including the Great Lakes.

Other companies vying for the project include Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman and Raytheon.

A spokesman for Sprint Nextel said the company has partnered with Northrop Grumman to provide the same kind of broadband data service to SBInet as it is providing to New York City for its $500 million public safety network, which was awarded last week.

Customs and Border Protection (CBP) released the SBInet solicitation in April and said the government requires a comprehensive strategy that will deploy the optimum mix of workers, processes and technology to reduce the probability of illegal entries into the country.

CBP said it wants contractors to provide a list of current and next-generation technologies to detect and identify the location of illegal entries, classify the level of threat of such entries, and help manage an effective response to cross border threats.

SBInet is a three-year indefinite-quantity, indefinite-delivery contract with three one-year options.

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