Four firms picked for GIG-BE subcontracts

Science Applications International Corp. has chosen four telecommunications companies to provide equipment and support for the $877 million Global Information Grid-Bandwidth expansion program.

Ciena Corp. of Linthicum, Md. will provide optical transport system equipment. Sprint Corp. of Overland Park, Kan., will provide optical digital cross connect equipment, with Sycamore Networks Inc. as a subcontractor. Juniper Networks Inc., Sunnyvale, Calif., was tapped to provide Internet protocol router equipment. Qwest Communications International Inc., Denver, will provide multi-service provisioning platform equipment, with Cisco Systems Inc. as a subcontracor.

The value of the work to these companies could reach $260 million over the next two years, Defense Department officials said.

SAIC won the umbrella Defense Information System Network Global Solutions contract, called DGS, in 2001 to create GIG-BE, a worldwide switched optical network to serve Defense Department users around the globe.

Under the terms of the contract, SAIC conducted best value technical evaluations in four technology areas, down-selected to two to four vendors in each area and then conducted a "bake-off" testing at vendor facilities. Functional testing of hardware stability and compliance also was conducted. The Defense Information Systems Agency observed the evaluation process and signed off on SAIC's selections.

DISA spokeswoman Betsy Flood said the GIG-BE program expects to purchase an estimated $260 million in equipment through the contract to support GIG-BE implementation over the next two years. The companies have already begun executing against their subcontracts.

There is no minimum dollar amount guaranteed to any of the subcontractors under the indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity contracts, Flood said.

The DGS contract could expire as late as Sept. 30, 2010.

In September, DISA awarded two companies contracts to provide fiber optic infrastructure for the GIG-BE program. The contracts had a potential value of roughly $250 million for implementation and $140 million for life cycle support. The agency did not release the company names for security purposes, Flood said.

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