Lumen scores $74M contract to give GAO a tech makeover

  • Lumen landed a $73.6 million EIS contract to modernize GAO’s network

  • Essentially, GAO wants to outsource IT support to Lumen

  • Lumen has also scored EIS task orders with agencies like USDA, CBP and the Interior Department

Lumen continues to grow its public sector customer base, announcing this week it bagged a $73.6 million contract to modernize the U.S. Government Accountability Office's (GAO) network.

Jason Schulman, Lumen’s national VP of federal government sales, told Fierce Network the contract is new business for the operator. It was awarded under the General Services Administration's Enterprise Infrastructure Solutions (EIS) program.

As part of the task order, which runs through 2032, Lumen will provide GAO services such as VPN, Ethernet transport, videoconferencing and voice, internet protocol and secure managed network services.

Schulman said Lumen’s already begun work on the contract, and it’s helping GAO transition to a contractor-owned and contractor-operated (COCO) network model, which essentially is an outsourcing of IT support.

“Rather than having the government own specific equipment and software along with the monitoring and management, Lumen takes on the responsibility for delivering all the components of a complete solution,” he explained. “The COCO model means GAO can tackle its mission, priorities and goals while Lumen manages all equipment, maintenance, technology updates and operations.”

The biggest concern for public sector customers, Schulman noted, is figuring out how to fortify their digital infrastructure “against unauthorized access.”

They have good reason to be worried. Recent reports from both Lumen and Zayo found the government sector was hit with some of the longest distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks in 2023.

According to Zayo, average attack durations on the government increased from 4 hours in the first half of 2023 to nearly 18 hours in the latter half.

It’s hardly Lumen’s first time in the EIS rodeo. Lumen in 2022 won a $1.2 billion contract to overhaul the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s legacy network and a $137 million task order to upgrade the Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP) network.

Other EIS task orders include a $1.6 billion deal to modernize network services for the U.S. Department of Interior, as well as contracts with the U.S. Army Reserve Command, the U.S. Army Recruiting Command and U.S. Navy JAG.

“We are actively pursuing new EIS awards and working with our existing EIS customers to expand the services we provide within the awarded contract scope,” Schulman added.