Under the contract, the company will support the systems federal leaders and others use to coordinate responses to during natural disasters, acts of terrorism and other crises.
The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency awarded General Dynamics’ Information Technology division a $325 million contract to operate the government’s emergency communications infrastructure.
Under the contract, GDIT will support the government’s priority telecommunications services, a suite of systems that federal leaders and others can rely on during natural disasters, war, acts of terrorism and other crises. The company is also charged with modernizing the legacy systems to keep up with the country’s evolving communications networks, according to the performance work statement.
“Maintaining [priority services] is vital to the government, including national leadership, to ensure emergency communications are available to coordinate recovery efforts in responding to disasters and crises,” CISA officials said in the PWS. “The contractor [will] provide communications services and service support at a level that assures a high probability of their availability ... under all levels of stress.”
The contract, which will run for up to five years, covers a wide array of services, including engineering, acquisition, program management, integration, coordination, as well as operations, administration, maintenance and provisioning support. GDIT’s work will cover both landline and wireless networks.
The government’s emergency communications systems rely on public infrastructure, so GDIT is responsible for coordinating with U.S. providers like AT&T, Verizon and Sprint to ensure there’s always a connection available for the government and its “national security and emergency preparedness” partners. Under the contract, GDIT is barred from working with companies that use Chinese telecommunications equipment without explicit government approval.
The company is also expected to plan and implement changes to existing systems to accommodate new wireless networks, CISA said, specifically 4G LTE and 5G. To do so, GDIT must keep tabs on how the country’s telecom infrastructure is evolving and help the government develop new communications standards, officials said.