The department expects that the Homeland Secure Data Network (HSDN) will provide its officials with a more secure infrastructure for communicating classified information.
"[It] will provide DHS personnel with a 21st century information technology infrastructure for communicating classified information," said a spokesperson for the department. "The HSDN lays the foundation to consolidate five legacy wide-area networks down to one network for classified and unclassified information."
Officials added that the HSDN, to be completed by the end of 2005, will eliminate the department's dependence on external networks.
The department will pay technology firm Northrop Grumman an estimated $350 million to implement the network. The department said that the firm is designing the network for transmitting classified information betwen government, industry, and academia.