AT&T wins $350M Networx task at USDA

Award will be used to build a virtual private network and provide managed security services as USDA moves away from older telecom contract.

AT&T Government Solutions won a $350 million Networx Universal task order from the Agriculture Department to provide USDA with IP virtual private network and managed security services.

The award is a major step toward transitioning the agency from the General Services Administration’s soon-to-expire FTS 2001 to its newer Networx telecommunications acquisition.

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AT&T will complete a USDA-wide, managed IP network architecture that will let the agency extend shared services across a new, unified infrastructure, encompassing 29 USDA agencies and more than 5,000 geographically dispersed locations.

The new, state-of-the-art Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS)-enabled network will be a significant advance for USDA, said Jeff Mohan, executive director of AT&T’s Networx program office..

“The migration to a VPN architecture for USDA is not only a significant evolution of their network but an example of how the agency has been able to successfully execute its network vision,” he said.

The initiative will let the agency broaden its use of shared services, as well as update agency network capabilities. “USDA will use the Networx program to transform our operations through new technologies so we can provide our customers with more advanced network services while also meeting the needs of our citizens,” said Christopher Smith, the agency’s CIO.

Among the security services AT&T will be providing will be intrusion detection, and risk prevention and mitigation. "USDA needs an approach to security that not only safeguards their data and other assets, but also identifies and stops cyber threats before they reach their network perimeter," said Ed Amoroso, chief security officer and senior vice president, AT&T Services, Inc.

The USDA task order has a one-year base with six one-year options.

AT&T is ranked No. 46 on Washington Technology’s 2010 Top 100 list of the largest government contractors.