AT&T wins $311 million contract for NOAA’s networks

AT&T has won a contract to modernize the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration’s networks, which is valued at $311 million over 10 years.

NOAA, AT&T said, wants to “modernize and transform its networking technologies and lay the foundation for 5G and multi-access edge computing capabilities.”

“A key reason the agency needs the capabilities is the alarming rate at which weather events are impacting the U.S.,” AT&T said in its release. “The first 9 months of 2020 brought a record-tying 16 different billion-dollar disasters. NOAA is America’s environmental intelligence agency, responsible for daily weather forecasts, severe storm warnings and climate monitoring as well as fisheries management, coastal restoration and supporting marine commerce. Its products and services support economic vitality and affect more than 1/3 of America’s Gross Domestic Product.”

“NOAA’s mission is highly data intensive requiring the most sophisticated advanced networking services commercially available,” said Chris Smith, who is VP of civilian and shared services for AT&T Public Sector and FirstNet.

 The task order was made under the General Service Administration’s (GSA) Enterprise Infrastructure Solutions (EIS) program for enabling agencies to upgrade their technologies.

AT&T said it will begin work immediately, and that the scope of the project includes consolidating NOAA’s networks from a multiple vendor environment to a single, seamless next-generation communications platform, to “help reduce network outage risks and improve network and application availability.” Technologies that will be put to work include unified communications, virtual private networking, IP-based wirleess and wireline networking and management of NOAA’s network and security services, AT&T said.

The work will span NOAA’s headquarters, half a dozen offices and international operations, including the National Weather Service (NWS), National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Ocean Service (NOS), Oceanic and Atmospheric Research (OAR), National Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information Service (NESDIS), and Office of Marine and Aviation Operations (OMAO).  

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