GSA to add TIC to Networx contracts

Networx vendors will be able to offer services under the Office of Management's initiative after the General Services Administration modifies the contracts.

Agencies trying to reduce their number of Internet gateways will soon be able to turn to the General Services Administration's Networx program for help. GSA is adding services associated with the Trusted Internet Connections (TIC) initiative to the contracts.


After several months of internal discussion and talks with the Office of Management and Budget about the initiative, GSA sent statements of work to the six Networx contract holders on July 17, said Karl Krumbholz, director of network services at GSA. The vendors have until Aug. 18 to respond. Krumbolz said he'd like to have the effort finished by November.


The TIC is an effort to the reduce the number of Internet gateways that connect agencies to the global network from several thousand to less than 100, according to Karen Evans, administrator for e-Government and information technology at OMB. The smaller number will make it much easier to monitor traffic and track it.


Networx vendors will offer Internet access, hosting of required security appliances that monitor traffic, and provide secure data transport from the vendor's data center back to the agency, said Frank Tiller, acting director of contract development in GSA's network services division.


“Some of the large departments have been able to specify the exact Internet interfaces they want to use and what security products they want to use, and build their own," he said. "There’s five or six building their own solutions, but we wanted to put something together that would be directly orderable through the contract.”


Also, some agencies trying to do the work themselves may find ordering through Networx to be a better option when it becomes available to them, Krumbholz added.

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