Networx vendors asked for TIC suggestions

The General Services Administration and the Homeland Security Department want to know how Networx vendors would implement the Trusted Internet Connections initiative.

The agencies issued a request for information Jan. 14 to the five companies on Networx Universal and Enterprise asking them to answer 15 questions about the TIC program, which aims to reduce the number of Internet gateways governmentwide to around 50.

"Sprint met with GSA last month to discuss this initiative and offered some thoughts on how this could be implemented," said Tony D'Agata, vice president of Federal Sales at Sprint. "We will formalize those thoughts in response to the RFI. Although the proposed implementation schedule is not practical, we support the concept and have supported agencies in the past in limiting their internet connections through either our Peerless IP product offering or other network architectural solutions."

In November 2007, the Office of Management and Budget told agencies to develop plans for reducing the number of gateways to a governmentwide target of about 50 by June 2008.

Agencies had until Jan. 8 to submit their plans of action and milestones for meeting the June deadline.

The RFI is the first appeal to industry for help on strategies for achieving the initiative's goal.

The RFI states that industry's answers will help define the government's course of action and identify strategies for implementing TIC.

Among the 15 questions, GSA and DHS want to know:
  • How would vendors design and supply large Web portals for agencies in support of TIC?
  • How would vendors design and supply trusted partner services for agencies?
  • How would large portals and trusted service partners support agencies' desktop PC needs and integrated network operations and security operations centers?
  • What features or services would vendors recommend adding to Networx contracts?
  • How would the vendor include hosted government servers that are managed by a third party or agency employees?
  • What is the most appropriate approach to incorporating TIC into the transitions to IPv6 and Networx?

Responses are due by Feb. 4.

Jason Miller writes for Government Computer News and Federal Computer Week, 1105 Government Information Group publications.

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