Defense Department to Rely on Qwest for High Speed Internet

by: Matthew Potter
March 31, 2011

Category: Business Line, Companies, Contract Additions, Contract Awards, Department of Defense, Events, IT, logistics, Services | RSS 2.0

Like all large organizations the U.S. Department of Defense is a heavy user of the internet. It also faces the choice that it either may develop its own network or rely on buying one from a commercial provider. For the last several years the Department has relied on Qwest (Q) to provide data transport services across the globe.

The contract was just renewed at a total value of around $100 million so that Qwest will continue to provide these services for several more years in support of Defense activities and the services. As part of the contract users will pay a variable rate based on the speed of the connection they choose allowing higher priority data and information to be sent at a much faster rate then a normal request.

In the past the Defense Department maintained their own phone system in parallel to the commercial network and that still exists with limited usage. It might have been expected that a similar system would have been established for its internet requirements but in this case, like so many others, the case for using an existing commercial provider is cheaper and more efficient.

The U.S. defense establishment relies on other commercial communication assets and has recently made a decision to set up an omnibus contract for commercial satellite communications with the rest of the government. This large contract which awards separate contracts to different companies allows the DoD and other government agencies fairly cheap, reliable access to the commercial satellite system. At the current time with the fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq the U.S. has relied heavily on satellite communications and this new contract allows better pricing and availability.

Photo from Jamison_Judd’s flickr photostream.

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