Level 3 speeds Recovery.gov operations

Filing of measurement data set to begin Oct. 10

The newly redesigned Recovery.gov, the Web site that reports on what’s happening with the $787 billion available through the economic stimulus spending law, gets its first real test on Oct. 10.

That’s when “all entities that have received federal stimulus funding need to input their first round of measurement data,” said a spokeswoman for Level 3 Communications Inc., which is supplying content delivery network (CDN) services for the site, which relaunched Sept. 28.

“Recovery.gov site functionality is being deployed in phases,” she said, “but this is an important milestone” in developing a transparent tool for public use.

The Recovery.gov Version 1.0 Web portal provided information on the Recovery Act, agency plans, reports, links to other information and some basic mapping of spending. However, it did a poor job of offering the transparency promised by President Barack Obama when he signed the law.
Behind how Recovery.gov's new look

Recovery.gov Version 2.0, now running on Microsoft SharePoint collaboration software instead of the open source Drupal, has a new interface and graphics. More features are planned, including improved search and navigation capabilities and an open API to give application developers greater access to government data.

Level 3, which also holds a Networx Enterprise contract from the General Services Administration is supplying CDN services under a subcontract from Savvis Federal Inc., which will handle Web hosting duties under a separate GSA contract.

Content delivery networks can react to content demand by routing requests and through caching of content. In CDN caching, Web site content is stored on multiple servers near the edge of the network and areas of greatest demand. “Real-time network intelligence moves cached content — namely, large-object images and video — as needed to optimize Web site download speeds,” a Level 3 spokeswoman said.

CDNs also can automatically reroute traffic to maximize performance at times of high demand. Because the company owns and controls its own network, including 77,000 miles of fiber, it also can offer a custom response to geographically based demand, Ed Morche, the company’s senior vice president and general manager of federal markets, told Washington Technology in a recent interview.

Level 3 acquired some CDN capabilities from Savvis, a Savvis spokesman said. But the company has been further developing its CDN and offering the services to federal agencies via its GSA Networx Enterprise contract, Morche said.

About the Author

Sami Lais is a special contributor to Washington Technology.

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