Federal Communications Commission

AAC KEEPS BIDDERS TUNED IN TO THE AUCTION ACTION

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is responsible for regulating interstate and international communications by radio, television, wire, satellite or cable in the 50 states and the District of Columbia.

An important component of the FCC's mission is allocating the nation's airwaves for commercial use. Under the authority of Congress, the FCC uses a competitive bidding process to award exclusive licenses for the use of electromagnetic spectrum.

Auctions for blocks of spectrum are conducted electrically and are accessible on the Internet through the FCC's Integrated Spectrum Auction System (ISAS). Participants depend on ISAS to implement their bidding strategies and receive results.

CHALLENGE: 

Spectrum auctions are an important source of revenue for the U.S. Government, raising billions of dollars each year. The competitiveness of participating businesses may also hinge on their ability to acquire spectrum. For both of these reasons, it's essential that ISAS remains seamlessly secure and available during each and every round of an online auction.

SOLUTION: 

In 1996, the FCC contracted AAC to provide complete operations support for all ISAS network environments. After its IG determined that ISAS was vulnerable to disasters, the FCC also tasked AAC to plan and build a backup site. AAC's overall solution includes:

Program Management Office (PMO)

Dynamic program needs and evolving project requirements necessitates the use of strict project management discipline to reduce overall risk to the Government. AAC has established and operates a PMO that assists the FCC with creating and executing project work plans and revisions to meeting changing program needs and project requirements. AAC's program management approach improves the delivery of IT enterprise services, increasing the security of information systems and networks, and reduces total cost of ownership of the FCC's IT enterprise....AAC's rigorous project/program management approach provides clear and continuous insight into program schedule, technical performance, and risk. 

Network design and implementation

AAC develops technical approaches, conducts cost/benefit analyses, and makes recommendations for meeting the FCC's ongoing requirements.

Modernization and consolidation

AAC is in the process of modernizing the entire FCC IT infrastructure through modernization, integration, and consolidation of equipment, systems, and services to better meet the commission's needs. 

Server Support

AAC maintains 475 Sun server systems, 110 Intel-based servers, and the entire ISAS Web Infrastructure, including Web and applications servers. The servers are attached to storage fabrics that provide storage switching, data replication, and data archiving.

Virtualization

AAC helped reduce the Commission's operational expenses by deploying 17 hosts which support 167 virtual servers. The applications, data, and users previously associated with physical servers were seamlessly and securely moved on to the new virtual servers.

IPv6

AAC implemented IPv6 for FCC Auctions to meet the OMB IPv6 requirement. AAC engineers engaged with technical staff at two other U.S. Civilian Agencies for external testing and mutual verification of each other's IPv6 deployments.

Agile development

AAC uses the Agile software development framework with Xtreme programming methodology to deliver needed software. AAC regards ongoing dynamic changes to requirements and priorities as a normal part of the development process. AAC adapts deftly to changing requirements and FCC's priorities with customer satisfaction as its primary focus.

Wireless communications

AAC designed and engineered a Cisco wireless LAN (WLAN) solution that supports FCC personnel, contractors, and visitors.

Service desk

AAC supports the Commission staff with 24x7 single-number-for-help support

Security

AAC provides state-of-the-art information assurance services in the form of intrusion detection, alarm correlation, alarm management, and other types of security infrastructure management support to both of the FCC's datacenters, located in Washington, DC and Gettysburg, PA. These services ensure information availability, integrity, authentication, confidentiality, and non-repudiation.

Disaster recovery and COOP

AAC manages all disaster recovery planning for the FCC auction sites, administers all backups, and maintains the FCC's full-time, live disaster recovery site in Gettysburg, PA.

Infrastructure

Since availability is mission critical, ISAS networks are designed with redundant paths in infrastructure and automatic fallover in all components.

RESULTS: 

Exceeding SLAs: AAC reports, and routinely meets or exceeds, thirty-nine (39) metrics on a monthly basis on this performance based contract. For example, AAC has far exceeded its service level agreement requirements with over 90% first-call resolution in the customer support center. Since AAC began to manage IT security for ISAS, it has maintained 99.999% availability - without allowing a single internal or external intrusion.

RELATED SECTOR:  Civilian