The Department of Homeland Security has awarded four Enterprise Infrastructure Solutions (EIS) task orders for modernizing its telecommunications infrastructure with Internet Protocol-based networking services to AT&T.
Worth a combined $306 million over 12 years if all options are exercised, the task orders cover networking services supporting the DHS headquarters, as well as Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, and Science and Technology Directorate.
Unlike most departments, DHS is awarding upward of five EIS task orders ahead of the Networx contract’s expiration on March 31, 2023, but these most recent awards were protested first by Lumen Technologies and then Verizon. Those protests were denied by the Government Accountability Office, and now work can proceed.
“We’re honored DHS selected us to modernize its communications capabilities with an IP-
based infrastructure,” said Stacy Schwartz, vice president of FirstNet and public safety at AT&T, in a statement. “We expect the networking transformation to power the many missions of DHS agencies into the future.”
DHS agencies will soon be able to access data networking, voice collaboration, equipment, security and labor, as well as FirstNet priority communications for public safety personnel.
Software-defined wide area network (SD-WAN) and other cybersecurity protections will reduce agencies’ internet connections, and therefore their attack surface. This permits improved monitoring, in keeping with the zero-trust security model, which has become an increased focus in the aftermath of high-profile hacks like SolarWinds.