Federal telecommunications spending to reach $16 billion
U.S. federal government spending on telecommunications products and services will increase at a compound annual growth rate of 8% from $10.8 billion in fiscal year 2002 to $16.1 billion in FY 2007, according to a report released by Chantilly, VA-based Input, a company that provides Web-based e-business market research and marketing services.
“Telecommunications spending in the federal government is being driven by four primary market trends: homeland security, E-government, Department of Defense force transformation and telecommuting,” said Payton Smith, Input’s manager of public sector market analysis services. “Of these four market trends, homeland security will have the greatest impact on near-term telecommunications spending while E-government will become more significant in the later years of our forecast.”
According to the report, the Department of Defense, the Department of Transportation and the Department of Justice stand out as the three federal agencies in which homeland security initiatives will have the greatest effect on telecommunications spending.
The report shows that federal telecommunications spending will achieve the highest growth rate in the area of professional services, including consulting, design and integration services.
“The current emphasis on interoperability represents a significant integration challenge for federal networks and communications infrastructure,” Smith said.
“President George W. Bush’s FY 2003 budget request includes $3.5 billion in support of first responders. The single biggest portion of that amount, $1.4 billion, is designated for enhancing communications,” Smith said.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency is expected to spend most of the $1.4 billion in the form of grants to state and local governments.
Input forecasts the following specific examples of FY 2003 federal spending:
$32.8 million – U.S. Forest Service radio communications
$14.7 million – U.S. Forest Service national fire plan-radio
$6.1 million – U.S. Secret Service radio program
$3.4 million – Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms tactical radio communications
When asked directly, some federal agencies do not give much detail about their radio communications technologies, frequencies, interoperability or spending.
An FBI spokesperson said, “We prefer not to talk about that. The bad guys are smart enough, and we don’t like to increase the potential for the compromise or disruption of our communications by giving out information about it.”