Lumen lands agtech modernisation contract worth $1.2 billion
Lumen Technologies has won a $1.2 billion contract in a move that will bring speeds of up to 100Gbps to the legacy network operated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).
The award is part of the General Services Administration's 15-year, $50 billion Enterprise Infrastructure Solutions (EIS) scheme and will see Lumen execute on more than 12 deliverables to provide managed network, managed security and voice solutions including SD-WAN; VoIP, wireless and satellite services; ethernet transport; and optical wavelength solutions.
Lumen said the package will enable "nearly 100,000 USDA employees to effectively manage vital farming, food and nutrition, forestry and rural economic development services upon which America relies".
The 11-year task order has an initial term through September 30, 2022, with 10 one-year options.
Zain Ahmed, senior vice president, Lumen public sector said: "Lumen is bringing modern technology solutions that will make it easier for the USDA to accomplish its mission of promoting the production of nutritious food that nourishes our people, providing economic opportunity to rural Americans, and preserving our nation's natural resources through smart forest and watershed conservation."
Lumen will provide the deliverables via its carrier-class fibre network, including the fully integrated wide area data transport service with secure remote access and the cloud connectivity solutions for more than 9,500 USDA locations across the country and abroad.
The firm – which rebranded and effectively restructured in 2020 – said the connectivity will help the USDA securely acquire, analyse and act on data closer to where it is collected at the edge of the network, which reduces latency and saves bandwidth.
As Capacity and Data Economy have previously reported, rural connectivity to support edge, IoT and digitalisation across agriculture is a growing point of focus for cloud and tech firms in the US.
Taking a global approach to this, late last year the ITU launched a new agtech focus group in collaboration with the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (FAO), tasked with exploring "emerging cyber-physical systems as groundwork for standardisation to stimulate their deployment for agriculture worldwide", including AI and IoT.