Verizon secu $495M contract with US DoD to manage research network

Verizon Public Sector secured a $495 million contract with the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) to deliver high-bandwidth, low-latency, Layer 2 wide area network services in support of critical research. Verizon’s solutions, which include switch, router, firewall and edge compute capabilities, will connect 200 different Research, Development, Test, and Evaluation (RDT&E) laboratories and High Performance Computing (HPC) locations across the United States and abroad.

The carrier’s support will focus on two specific DoD assets: The High Performance Computing Modernization Program (HPCMP), which provides the Department of Defense supercomputing capabilities, high-speed network communications and computational science expertise, and the Defense Research and Engineering Network (DREN), a high-speed fiber optic network that connects military supercomputers and multi-disciplinary teams of researchers.

Last year, the U.S. Army purchased two new supercomputers as part of the HPCMP to bolster its data analytics capabilities. At the time of the purchase, it was announced that the new computers would become operational around mid-2021, which is right about now.

“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,” said Jennifer Chronis, senior vice president for the public sector at Verizon. “Our managed services solutions will create a next-generation user experience for research teams utilizing the DREN platform while also enhancing security across the network.”

Verizon is guaranteeing that the DoD can expect throughput and latency at speeds of up to 100Gbps and even 400Gbps, allowing for the to develop and test big data analyses, artificial intelligence, machine learning and simulations in near real time to better address complex problems like climate change and the pandemic response.

As part of its 5G push, the DoD, in 2020, inked an agreement with Verizon to bring next-gen services at the Marine Corps Air Station in Miramar, California, which is home to 15,000 service members, the 3rd Marine Air Wing and the F35-C aircraft. According to Verizon, the 5G service at MCAS Miramar will provide a “living lab” for military and defense use of the technology, including autonomous transport.

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