Hughes goes the distance with new network

Hughes Network Systems has received $2.6 million worth of task orders from the Defense Information Systems Agency and other agencies participating in the Government Education and Training Network for a distance-learning system for students at locations nationwide, including Alaska and Hawaii, the company said today.

Hughes will provide an audio and video communications network for broadcast training through the General Services Administration's Satellite Services II program, the company said. Hughes' network will use broadband satellite technology to broadcast compressed digital and audio distance-learning programs and support viewer-response systems, including audio conferencing and integrated voice and data systems, according to the company.

The network is also designed to meet agency-specific requirements, such as interactive television, streaming video and large file transfers.

Under GETN, participating agencies use a common satellite carrier to share distance-learning programs. Users include the Air Force, the Army, the Bureau of Indian Affairs, the Defense Logistics Agency, the Justice Department, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Federal Aviation Administration, the National Park Service and the FBI.

The task orders specify a minimum one-year performance period with four option years, through Nov. 1, 2012.

Richard W. Walker writes for Federal Computer Week, an 1105 Government Information Group publication.

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