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Military IP Net Will Strike Up The Bandwidth

The Defense Information Systems Agency has approved the recommended subcontractors chosen by Science Applications International Corp. (SAIC) for the Global Information Grid Bandwidth Expansion project, an optical terrestrial network that is to deliver Internet Protocol traffic among defense and intelligence locations worldwide.

Contracts went to Ciena Corp. for its CoreStream optical transport system and to Juniper Networks Inc. for its M- and T-router IP/MPLS systems. The team of Sycamore Networks Inc. and Sprint Communications Co. will provide an optical digital cross-connect solution, while the team of Cisco Systems Inc. and Qwest Communications International Inc. was chosen for the multiservice provisioning platform.

The Global Information Grid is the Pentagon's unified IP network of communication systems for defense and intelligence needs, including integrated systems for national security, such as upgrades to the Secret IP Router Network and to the Proteus asynchronous transfer network.

In the spring of 2003, the Joint Chiefs of Staff awarded SAIC a prime contract for a $50 million Global Information Grid (GIG) study that included an analysis of bandwidth expansion needs. The resulting GIG-BE project, managed by SAIC, identified more than 90 key Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) sites worldwide that needed bandwidth and IP capability upgrades in order to provide all the bandwidth necessary for military and intelligence applications on an "as needed" basis. The optical transport core of GIG-BE will operate at OC-192 speeds of 10 Gbits/second and above.

DISA did not break out the contract amounts for each company. The total expenditure will exceed $400 million in the first phase and may approach $1 billion in its first two years of buildout. Site engineering and network planning have already begun.