The $495 million contract will be for a full range of network tech and services, aiming to boost the connectivity between 200 of DOD’s research, developing and testing labs. In a press release, Verizon described the network, known as the Defense Research and Engineering Network (DREN), as a “high-bandwidth, low-latency, Layer 2 wide area network.” It will also provide services to a separate initiative called the High Performance Computing Modernization Program (HPCMP), which is DOD’s main program to test supercomputers.
The contract comes as DOD is trying to boost its research and development funding to record highs, especially in areas of emerging technology like artificial intelligence. AI is powered by the type of high-performance computing resources this contract will create a network for.
“Investments across Verizon’s enterprise business enable the kind of tailored solutions our team will deliver to the U.S. Department of Defense and the Defense Research and Engineering Network,” Jennifer Chronis, senior vice president for public sector at Verizon, said in a statement.
The work will include providing everything from switches, routers, firewall protection and edge compute capabilities, according to Verizon.