FORT JACKSON, S.C. -- Internet and telephone connectivity at more than 100 buildings on Fort Jackson will be upgraded in the next three years.

The Installation Information Infrastructure Modernization Program, or I3MP, is an Army-wide effort to ensure that its communication services and technology are current and efficient.

Fort Jackson is the latest Army installation to have its network connectivity upgraded from traditional copper wires and digital subscriber line DSL technology to fiber optic cables.

The fiber optic connectivity will make network connections "10 times better," says Kathy Hayes, chief of the Directorate of Information Management's Service Management Division at Fort Jackson.

"Your network services will be better overall," she said.

The technology will allow for faster network connections and clarity.
I3MP, a $12 to $15 million project, will be paid for by the Army. It has been more than five years since Fort Jackson had its last network connectivity upgrade, Hayes said. And that transition went smoothly.

However, this one will likely involve a bit more construction, which may cause some traffic delays. Hayes also said that this project will require an extensive amount of digging as cables are laid underground.

This technology upgrade will also allow Fort Jackson to bring on line an additional 10,000 telephone numbers that have been assigned to the installation for its organizations and residences, said Willard Moore, acting telephone site manager.

Also with this project, Moore said the Army will implement the standardization of its dialing plan for Defense Switched Network and long-distance calls at Fort Jackson.

The DSN phone and telecommunication service is used when official business, or matters in the interest of the government, is being conducted between DoD organizations.
Moore said the Army's standardization of the DSN network includes using the dialing prefix of 99 to dial off post and the prefix 94 to access a DSN number.

The construction contract for the I3MP project is expected to be awarded January 2010.

Bidding for the project is expected to start next month.
It will take up to three years before all network upgrades and new services are available, Hayes said.