CenturyLink to provide network services for NIH

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The Department of Health and Human Services’ National Institutes of Health awarded a more than $62 million decade-long contract Wednesday to CenturyLink, Inc. to provide colocation, network connectivity and disaster recovery services to the agency’s National Library of Medicine and Center for Information Technology.

CenturyLink, Inc., the nation’s third-largest telecommunications company, provides data, voice, cloud and other IT solutions. The company will bring in $3.2 million for the first year followed by nine year-long contract options, but the total contract value will not exceed $62.7 million, according to a release from the company. At minimum, CenturyLink will receive $19.6 million from the contracts.

Lisa Bruch, CenturyLink’s acting senior vice president and general manager, said in the release the company will help to service the agency’s thousands of communities and registered users.

“CenturyLink is proud to be selected again to provide the NIH and the National Library of Medicine with secure, reliable colocation and disaster recovery services that will help the agency continue to supply important medical information and research services,” Bruch said.

NIH’s National Library of Medicine is the world’s largest medical library, containing a collection of information and research services on healthcare and biomedicine. Located on NIH’s Bethesda campus, the library is a home for research, development and training informatics and health IT. 

Colocation, which provides security provisions, and data backup services will occur over the company’s network, which NIH will put to use. The company is also expected to provide disaster recovery services to the agency, enabling computer services to go back online and pull from a backup at the conclusion of a disaster. 

Data centers, a central part of the CenturyLink contract, will keep NIH’s information confidential and accessible from the agency. CenturyLink’s data centers have a moderate rating of compliance with the Federal Information Security Management Act and are classified as Tier III – the second-highest rating, according to the Telecommunications Industry Association. 

All of NIH’s IT resources exist under their Center for Information Technology, which will also see some CenturyLink interaction. CIT operates the computers, data processing and technical services across the agency. 

NIH did not comment on the contract before publication. 

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Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Departments, Health data, Health IT, National Institutes of Health (NIH), Tech
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