It’s been over four years since the procurement arm of the Defense Information Systems Agency issued a contract notice stating that the White House was ready to switch to an Internet-based phone system. The notice also declared an intent to obtain satellite equipment, VoIP phones and supporting hardware through a contract named “Everything Over the Internet Protocol Phase I.”
The equipment list sent out by the Defense Information Technology Contracting Organization included a mobile broadband satellite system with a .75 meter dish that can operate in the Ka-band. It also included a fly-away suitcase satellite system from a SWE-DISH subsidiary located in Georgia.
Craig Mathias, an analyst with the FarPoint Group, commented on the decision shortly after the notice was published. He stated that switch made sense “because everything you need to do today, you can do over IP.” He also talked about the importance of security for White House communications and the role this would play in the procurement process.
DITCO seemed to confirm the necessity of security since they asked bidders to provide an extremely high level of encryption through the AltaSex KG-250. DITCO also request bidders provide Cisco gear like series 3750 switches, Wide Area Application Services hardware, and over a hundred VoIP phones.
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Many businesses rely on a collection of communication tools that they adopt to address specific needs as they arise. This strategy may seem to work in the beginning, but eventually will lead to a system that is cumbersome to use, difficult to explain to new hires, expensive, and effective in some areas, but full of gaps. more
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