The Department of Homeland Security awarded a contract potentially worth hundreds of millions of dollars to help with emergency communications during disasters, according to a news release from the award winners.

The single-award contract, potentially worth $325 million, was awarded to CSRA, an affiliate of General Dynamics Information Technology. CSRA will work with the DHS Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency’s Emergency Communications Division to provide priority telecommunications services (PTS) to allow for better communication during disaster response.

Often in disaster areas, GDIT said, the network infrastructure can be damaged or its traffic congested. To combat that, DHS PTS program provides communication services to “maintain continuity of government operations,” the release said.

The contract has a base period of one year and four single year options.

“GDIT will leverage a vast community of internal telecommunication and system engineering experts and significantly expanded priority services capabilities,” GDIT wrote in its press release. “This will enable PTS to reach near-ubiquitous data connectivity and expand the use of data, video and information services.”

GDIT will also help DHS adopt 5G network technology, a highly anticipated advancement that experts say can transform communications.

“By leveraging GDIT’s telecommunication experts and our extensive community of partners, DHS can utilize the latest capabilities and realize enhanced, real-time emergency communications across the federal government," said Vice President Brian Michl, general manager of GDIT’s DHS Sector.

Andrew Eversden covers all things defense technology for C4ISRNET. He previously reported on federal IT and cybersecurity for Federal Times and Fifth Domain, and worked as a congressional reporting fellow for the Texas Tribune. He was also a Washington intern for the Durango Herald. Andrew is a graduate of American University.

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