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Verizon Business, AT&T Win Homeland Security Network Contracts

Verizon's 10-year, $678.5 million contract calls for merging various Department of Homeland Security units onto a single common and secure IP network.

Verizon Business has won a $678.5 million contract to combine communications in various Department of Homeland Security units onto a single common and secure IP network.

The contract, expected to be in force over a 10-year period, calls for Verizon Business to function as the primary service provider in the DHS OneNet program to assist the 22 agencies in the department to combine their separate wide area networks.

"The Department of Homeland Security has entrusted Verizon Business to support its critical mission of protecting our country and its citizens," said Verizon Business president John Killian in a statement. "The advanced network that we deploy will serve as the vital springboard for the department's evolving requirements going forward."

The Verizon award, and a secondary $292 million contract for AT&T Government Solutions, was announced Wednesday under the auspices of the General Services Administration's massive Networx Universal contract. The $20 billion-plus Networx contract -- for which Verizon, AT&T, and Qwest are the prime contractors -- calls for upgrades to advanced Internet capability of existing government agencies' wireless and wireline facilities.

As part of the Verizon contract, the company will use Networx Universal's emergency communications services to help DHS prepare for emergency responses.

The Verizon unit noted that it has been supplying communications services to the DHS under the GSA's Federal Telecommunications Service 2001, the predecessor to the Networx program.

AT&T said it will work on the DHS contract, which also has a goal of facilitating data sharing across all components of DHS.

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