What’s the news? AT&T will consolidate the U.S. Coast Guard’s (USCG) disparate data communications networks onto a single modernized data communications platform under a Task Order from the Defense Information Technology Contracting Organization, the Defense Information Systems Agency’s contracting arm. The agreement with AT&T is valued at $161 million over 11 years if all options are exercised.
The Task Order was made under the U.S. General Services Administration’s Enterprise Infrastructure Solutions (EIS) contract, which was created to help federal agencies modernize their technology infrastructure.
Why is this important? As a result of this new Task Order, AT&T becomes USCG’s principal provider of data telecommunications services globally. AT&T expects to help USCG usher in the future of its communications by delivering a new data communications platform that offers improvements in network efficiencies, speed and flexibility. Our networking platform can help ensure USCG users have the advanced communications capabilities they require to support their missions.
How does the Coast Guard use data services and what’s changing for them? USCG’s network data services support a variety of connectivity, communications, and operational requirements that enables its users to access and use the Department of Defense Information Network (DoDIN), Sensitive But Unclassified (SBU) Voice, the Internet, authorized intranets, appropriate extranets, and other operations.
We will supply USCG an IP-based, fast, flexible and reliable data network to support a variety of connectivity, communications, and operation requirements.
In addition, the Task Order paves the way for the USCG to expand its usage of FirstNet®. FirstNet, Built with AT&T, is public safety’s dedicated, nationwide communications platform.
As a subscriber to FirstNet, the USCG uses FirstNet services and capabilities for routine and special operations. As of October 2020, USCG had equipped more than 1,300 pilots and aircrew across all aviation equipment types with FirstNet-enabled tablets for pre-flight planning and awareness purposes.
USCG officials also use FirstNet to securely distribute mission-critical guidance, references, and policies, significantly enhancing operational efficiency and safety during both day-to-day operations as well as large-scale disaster responses.
In addition to day-to-day operations, the USCG has successfully used FirstNet during major events and incidents, including search and rescue cases, Fleet Week events, and National Security Special Events such as the Super Bowl.
What is the scope of the network modernization? Services we expect to deliver to the USCG under this Task Order include IP-based Wide Area Network, ethernet, virtual private networking, private line, fixed wireless, optical wavelength, and commercial satellite communication. We will manage the services for the USCG in support of its diverse missions across 1,200 locations.
Here’s what people are saying:
Rear Admiral David Dermanelian, CIO, U.S. Coast Guard, spoke about the need for a modernized communications platform during a July 20, 2020 segment on Government Matters TV called: “Enabling IT Modernization – The Next Generation DOD Mission.” He said: “We’re looking at our enterprise mission platform. It’s all about modernizing that mission platform so that we can deliver information on time with the proper security and the availability that our Coast Guard is going to need. It’s more than just a platform. It’s all those things that are enabling information to be delivered. It’s all about getting info at the tactical edge. Those young men and women who are in harm’s way are asking for information to be readily available, on time, to meet their mission speed.”
“Time is precious for the critical services the U.S. Coast Guard provides, from search and rescue to port security and military readiness, said Stacy Schwartz, Vice President – FirstNet Program at AT&T. “It’s vitally important they have a fast, reliable, and modernized data network to help ensure rapid flow of data to support their important work daily. We’re proud to help the Coast Guard deliver its mission with our fast and highly reliable network platform and advanced technologies.”
When does the work begin? Network planning has begun.