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1/18/2011
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DISA Issues $4.6 Billion Network Operations RFP

The Defense Information Systems Agency will outsource day-to-day support for the Defense Department's Global Information Grid.

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The Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) is preparing to award a single vendor a $4.6 billion contract to support the Department of Defense's (DoD's) massive IP infrastructure project.

The agency last week released the final request for proposals (RFPs) for a firm to provide operational support for the Global Information Grid (GIG) under a base three-year, indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity contract that includes two two-year options.

The contract requires a company that can provide "day-to-day delivery support for telecommunications capabilities, including operating and sustaining the Defense Information Systems Network (DISN), defending the DISN, providing access to new customers, monitoring network health, and restoring service as necessary, plus completing minor adjustments and improvements to existing capabilities," according to the RFP posted on FedBizOpps last week.

The services requested are no small undertaking, as the GIG includes any DoD system, equipment, software, or service that transmits, stores, or processes DoD information, as well as any other services used to optimize information transmission on the network.

The DoD first introduced its plan for GIG in 2007. The vision for the network is to unify the DoD and create what the department calls "information superiority" through a global, net-centric information-sharing network.

Companies have until March 14 to submit proposals for the contract. DISA also plans to post an RFP for GIG engineering, technology, and infrastructure requirements in about a month.

The GIG is not the only project DISA is undertaking to create a better-connected DoD IT system. Last month the agency -- which is responsible for DoD IT operations -- released an RFP seeking help building a network to link six DoD supercomputing centers.

The plan for the Defense Research and Engineering Network III (DREN III) is to provide a communications network that will be geographically dispersed across and outside the continental United States with 200 service delivery points of varying bandwidth.

DISA also is preparing to shoulder the burden of a consolidation of Army e-mail systems. The agency will provide a cloud-based infrastructure that unifies innumerable and disparate systems into one, a move that's the first step toward a broader military e-mail consolidation effort.

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