Federal News Network:
By Rob Dapkiewicz, SVP of MetTel Federal
While the reverberations of COVID-19 will likely be felt for decades to come, a near-term consequence has been a renewed focus on preparing for the future. The pandemic has revealed bandwidth gaps and shortcomings across the government sector, as the system has been tested like never before. However, this has also provided an opportunity for government agencies to re-evaluate their operations – with an eye to making them stronger and more resilient in the post-pandemic environment.
One key area primed for growth is network architecture. According to the General Services Administration’s June 29, 2020 EIS Transition Progress Tracking Report, as of April 30, only 49.04% of federal agencies had released their Fair Opportunity Task Orders to industry on the $50 billion Enterprise Infrastructure Solutions (EIS) contract, which is designed to help update and modernize the federal government’s telecommunications portfolio. GSA has used this opportunity to lead by example. The agency has leveraged the EIS contract to transition and modernize its enterprise data and voice network infrastructure by allowing innovative solutions to be introduced to include SD-WAN as part of the proposed solution. However, the overwhelming majority of the agencies that have released solicitations are pursuing a “like-for-like,” rather than a transformative strategy for network design.