According to Federal Computer Week, Nortel just won a $20 million dollar contract to supply VoIP equipment to the Defense Information Systems Agency.
The contract, announced March 29, will also allow DISA officials to migrate voice traffic from a network managed by MCI to a private network under total Defense Department control, a DISA spokesperson said. Pentagon officials expect the new switches to save money by allowing DISA to use the Defense Department’s Global Information Grid-Bandwidth Expansion network to replace leased services.
Voice over IP "that meets military requirements has a clear, positive future as a result of this acquisition," the DISA spokesperson said.
Nortel officials will upgrade six of their SL 100 switches at Air Force bases nationwide to handle IP traffic, including IP trunking, management of PBX systems and voice-over-IP traffic, said Chuck Saffell, president of the company’s federal solutions division.
Handling voice calls as IP traffic via DOD’s high-capacity fiber-optic network should reduce DISA’s costs, said Warren Suss, president of Suss Consulting. DISA’s move toward voice over IP represents "a major technology milestone" for the agency, further cementing voice over IP as the preferred technology for voice traffic in government and industry, Suss said.
That the government is heavily deploying VoIP is no surprise to me. They have been exploring VoIp for quite some time now. They have been coming to our ITEXPO shows for years – the military as well, and seem to have done the research and are now ready to deploy. We will hear about more government deployments soon and there are some deployments we won’t hear about.