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FCW : March 30, 2016
bandwidth. If more capacity is required, the only answer is to pay for another T1 line. Not only is that an inflexible response, it’s likely to be too expensive for constrained agency budgets. SERVING THE REMOTE OFFICE And it doesn’t come close to satisfy- ing the demands of something like a modern agency field office. They are no longer simply extensions of the central agency headquarters. They’re expected to perform many functions independently of headquarters and deliver services specific to the local and regional areas they cover. They also need to connect with and access data and services through the main agency MPLS network. Small- and medium-sized offices have different needs and budgets compared to large offices. Some may be so remote that they’re out of reach of terrestrial access circuits. Even if they aren’t out of reach, they need alternate backups if those terrestrial networks are disabled or knocked out during disasters. Without that back- up, remote offices could be down for hours, days or even weeks. Bandwidth demand is also likely to fluctuate more for field offices. That could depend on the time of year, and whether there are any local events where the field office is expected to take the lead on agency response. Meeting that kind of on-de- mand bandwidth requirement takes a mix of different broadband paths. The traditional add-on bandwidth approach simply won’t cut it for these types of requirements. What’s needed is a way to intelligently pro- vide bandwidth over those broad- band channels, matched to demand, and to guarantee the same kind of quality of service headquarter users get from the central MPLS network. SUPPORTING TELEWORK Teleworking is now a strategic asset for agencies as they look to cut costs. If workers don’t have to be at their offices all the time and can still do their job effectively, agencies can save on not having to support that physical presence. The first major test of the modern teleworking age was probably the “Snowmaggedon” storm in 2010, which shut down most Washington, DC agencies. The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) estimated tele- working during those days saved the government as much as $30 million each day. Teleworking has also become a significant recruiting tool, particularly to attract younger candidates who are used to a more flexible and mobile way of working than older generations. They have a more intuitive grasp of working “on the fly” without needing to be anchored to a physical location. The White House has pressured agencies to find ways to provide more seamless teleworking and other options as ways to attract and main- tain a talented federal workforce. The OPM followed up on that by calling on agencies to remove barriers or limitations that unnecessarily restrict workers from using workplace flexi- bility and work-life programs, such as teleworking. None of that is possible without reliable broadband connections that can provide teleworkers with the kinds of data, voice and video services they now expect to be able to access from anywhere. On the one hand, the cost-effective broadband services available to gov- ernment agencies to help them meet their network needs are only becom- ing more capable as the various tech- nologies improve. Satellite broadband, for example, has been misunderstood by some as relatively costly and with problematic technology limitations, Sponsored Content The White House has pressured agencies to find ways to provide more seamless teleworking to attract and maintain a talented federal workforce. THE MODERN NETWORK ADVANCED NETWORKS BRING SPEED, AGILITY AND COST SAVINGS 0316_EOD_Hughes_FCW_Mar30_final.indd 3 3/8/16 1:40 PM
March 15, 2016
April 15, 2016