Qwest, partner to build high-speed network for NASA

Qwest Communications International Inc. and TKC Communications LLC, an Alaska Native corporation, have been awarded a joint multi-year contract to build a high-speed network for secure communications among NASA facilities throughout the United States. The contract is for one year, with two one-year options, and has a potential value of $7.2 million.

The new network will be used to support the "One NASA" effort, Administrator Sean O'Keefe's program to focus on enhanced coordination, collaboration and communication among all the agency's facilities, the two companies said in their press release.

The two companies will construct a network to provide a range of very-high-bandwidth services, with some connections capable of simultaneously sending more than 600,000 e-mails per second. The network will connect NASA sites in multiple phases. The initial phase will connect Marshall Space Center in Huntsville, Ala., Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, NASA headquarters in Washington, Kennedy Space Center in Florida, Johnson Space Center in Houston, and Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, Calif.

"Qwest has been providing network services for the NASA Research and Education Network for more than a year," said James Payne, senior vice president and general manager of Qwest's government services division. "This is a unique project that will showcase Qwest's ability to deliver a tailored communications solution to a high-profile federal agency with multiple sites throughout the United States ? an important asset in today's increasingly data-centric communications environment."

Qwest is serving in the role of mentor to TKC Commnications, which recently was granted a Federal Communications Commission International Common Carrier 214 license.

"We couldn't ask for a better mentor-protégé relationship," said Steven Giani, president of TKC.

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