The Enterprise Infrastructure Solutions (EIS) contract will see the operator modernise the FBI’s IT infrastructure and improve network availability

This week, Verizon’s public sector unit has announced that it has struck a $400 million deal with the FBI, pledging to update the Bureau’s IT technology and wireless networks. 

The deal includes the incorporation of Verizon’s Ethernet access capabilities and global Virtual Private Network Services (VPNS) with a 4G LTE and 5G Nationwide cellular fixed wireless access, which they say will give the FBI various benefits, including faster speeds, lower latency, and faster connectivity deployment for agents in the field.

The FBI is expected to make use of a broad range of applications in the coming years, including enhanced cloud computing, video and image transmissions, and data applications, all of which will require more powerful infrastructure. 

The contract also includes 24/7 access to Verizon’s IT development team in order to manage critical problems or discuss system enhancements. 

“We understand the critical nature of the work we will do with the FBI to improve network availability, enhance operational efficiency, use tailored approaches to meet individual division needs, and help modernize technology,” said Maggie Hallbach, Senior Vice President of Public Sector at Verizon. “Building on nearly 20 years of partnership with the Bureau, this next phase will provide stable solutions and a modern network that is faster, more scalable and secure that will help the FBI achieve its mission.”

The deal comes as part of the government’s EIS programme, a special purpose contract vehicle allocated $50 billion to update government agencies’ IT infrastructure. The scheme aims at reducing agency costs and acquisition time for updated communications technology by leveraging the ability to buy approved equipment at scale for multiple agencies.

The EIS replaces a number of similar contract vehicles that have been used over the past decade, such as Networx and the Washington Interagency Telecommunications System.

However, the transition to EIS contracts has already fallen significantly behind schedule. By March this year, federal agencies were expected to have shifted 90% of their telecommunications contracts to the EIS and away from older government contract vehicles, but only 55.7% of agencies had achieved this goal. 

The agencies are expected to be entirely disconnected from legacy contracts by the end of 2022, but the General Services Administration has warned that many are not on track to reach that goal.

For Verizon, the EIS is proving incredibly lucrative. Back in March, the Department of Defense (DOD) announced that it had awarded Verizon almost $1 billion across three EIS task orders, with Verizon to provide network modernisation services and technical support to the Pentagon, the DOD National Capital Region (NCR) and Fort Belvoir.

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