News Release

The District of Columbia Selects Cisco as the Infrastructure Provider for its Next-Generation Communications Network

DC-Net Will Deliver Citywide Services and Save Washington Millions of Dollars Annually
Feb 09, 2004

WASHINGTON, DC - February 9, 2004 - Cisco Systems, Inc. today announced that the Office of the Chief Technology Officer (OCTO) of the Government of the District of Columbia has selected optical and IP networking equipment from Cisco to build a high-speed fiber optics network that will provide citywide voice and data communications services.

Still in the development phases on an OC-48 SONET backbone, DC-Net will eventually link over 300 sites throughout Washington, DC, allowing OCTO to consolidate data and voice communications traffic from all of the city's agencies. Examples of services that DC-Net will provide include real-time interactive video for public schools as well as an updated emergency communications system for the police and fire departments. Additionally, because multiple vendors will compete to operate the municipally owned network, OCTO estimates that such competition will save the city at least $10 million per year in communications costs.

"DC-Net is a long-term strategic IT investment for the District of Columbia," said Peter Roy, deputy chief technology officer for OCTO. "And by inviting industry to compete for the right to provide services on DC-Net, we will provide high-performance data and voice communications services to government, while saving tax dollars for DC's citizens."

The networking infrastructure for DC-Net will be built using a combination of Cisco's optical, IP, and Ethernet networking equipment. For core SONET (optical) services, OCTO selected the Cisco ONS 15454 Multiservice Provision Platform, the flagship product in Cisco's optical networking portfolio. For IP routing, OCTO is using Cisco 12000 series routers at the core and Cisco 7300 series routers at the edges of its IP networks. Cisco Catalyst® 3550 series switches will provide the bulk of the Ethernet services for DC-Net.

"The decision to go with Cisco as our main networking infrastructure provider was largely based on its overall strength in the marketplace and its track record in optical and IP/Ethernet technologies," Roy said. "Cisco has a long track record delivering networking solutions for enterprises and service providers, which is reassuring for an IT organization that plans to deliver critical public safety and other government services on its own private network."

OCTO expects to unveil its first DC-Net service, which will link the city's main administrative buildings to the network, within the first half of calendar year 2004. Other buildings will be connected and other services will roll out continually over the next two years.

"As a company who has, for years, promoted the benefits of a unified data and communications network, Cisco applauds forward-looking technology initiatives such as DC-NET and is proud of our role as a strategic vendor," said Jayshree Ullal, senior vice president and general manager for the Optical Networking Group at Cisco. "DC-NET is going to significantly enhance the city's communication services. Knowing that schools will benefit and millions of dollars will be saved annually is a huge bonus. It's a win-win investment for the city."

Editors Note:
This release was issued as a part of the Cisco Government Press Education Event. To listen to the live Webcast or access further in-depth features, videos, and information regarding Cisco business and technology strategies for the government market segment visit

About The DC Office Of The Chief Technology Officer

The Office of the Chief Technology Officer ( was established shortly before Mayor Williams took office in January 1999. OCTO's functions include implementing information technology solutions and systems throughout the District government; promoting the compatibility of information technology and telecommunications systems throughout the District government; and serving as a resource and providing advice to District departments and agencies about how to use information technology and telecommunications systems to improve services, including assistance to departments and agencies in developing information technology strategic plans. Agencies can draw on OCTO's expertise to get the most out of their technological investments.