Energy taps Qwest for network upgrade

Qwest Communications International Inc. has won a contract estimated at $37.5 million to upgrade the Energy Department's research communications network, the company announced today.

The award expands upon a seven-year, $50 million contract to provide network connectivity for the Energy Sciences Network, or ESnet, which began in 1999.

Under the contract, Qwest of Denver will increase the network's bandwidth by providing an OC-48 (2.56 Gbps) local access connection to the Brookhaven National Laboratory in Upton, N.Y., and to the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Oak Ridge, Tenn.

ESnet is funded primarily by the Energy Department's Office of Sciences, and is managed by its Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in Berkeley, Calif. The network operates a backbone connecting more than 35 department research sites.

The upgrades let scientists take better advantage of the 2.5G/10G ESnet backbone. The network has a six-node, fiber-optical backbone, much of which was upgraded in 2003 to 10 Gigabits per second through Qwest's Qwave services, a suite of fully managed, all-optical, high-capacity private line services. Qwest also is providing local access to the Oak Ridge facility.

Qwest offers voice, video and data services. It has more than 40,000 employees and annual revenue of $14.3 billion. The company ranks No. 67 on Washington Technology's 2004 Top 100 list, which measures federal contracting revenue.

About the Author

William Welsh is a freelance writer covering IT and defense technology.

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