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BT wins £39m NATO backbone contract

BT has won a contract to supply NATO with its communications backbone, the company revealed on Thursday.The five-year deal is worth €47m (£39m) and will see NATO's existing network backbone migrated over to BT Ethernet Connect.
Written by David Meyer, Contributor on

BT has won a contract to supply NATO with its communications backbone, the company revealed on Thursday.

The five-year deal is worth €47m (£39m) and will see NATO's existing network backbone migrated over to BT Ethernet Connect. The network connects more than 70 locations in the NATO nations and the Balkans.

NATO HQ

BT has won a contract to supply NATO with its communications backbone, the company revealed on Thursday. Image credit: NATO

BT Global Services fended off competition from Orange Business Services and Telecom Italia to win the contract.

"Information, and the ability to share it rapidly across a coalition, plays a paramount role in 21st century operations, as well as political decision-making. To underpin this we need a flexible, future-proof network," Georges D'hollander, general manager at NATO's Consultation, Command and Control Agency (NC3A), said in a statement.

Ethernet Connect is BT's flexible virtual private network (VPN). The company said it would let NATO establish a highly secure and global wide area network (WAN).

Apart from providing the backbone, BT will also provide hardware and Ethernet Connect E-LINE services, which "provides protected bandwidth for mission-critical applications between sites", the company said.

BT has already been working with NATO as a communications supplier since 1998, and has performed four network migrations for the organisation during that time, a BT spokesman told ZDNet UK.

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