The US Treasury has signed a deal worth up to $1bn (£520m) with AT&T and its partners to build a secure high-speed network for its operations.
AT&T said the new network would connect more than 1,000 Treasury locations around the country, linking tens of thousands of users around the world with voice, video and data communications.
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AT&T spokesman Jim McGann said the contract ran for three years with an optional seven-year extension. If all the option years are taken, the total contract will be worth $1bn.
The new network is scheduled to be working by August and will replace an existing network.
The contract calls for the construction of a secure, high-speed IP-based VPN that allows Treasury workers to communicate with any location or datacentre over a common network infrastructure. The network can be expanded for future needs such as VoIP and real-time video services.
A web-based interface will allow users to access online ordering, billing, helpdesk support and network performance information.
AT&T's subcontractors for the project include Accenture, BAE Systems and Lucent.
"We have assembled the best companies in the industry to assist us in implementing a secure IP network that will accommodate the future convergence of voice and data while transitioning smoothly from current technology," said Lou Addeo, president of AT&T Government Solutions.
Todd Weiss writes for Computerworld