Nerval's Lobster writes: Network provider CenturyLink has won a $750 million contract from the Department of Defense to network the latter’s sites together as part of the military equivalent of Internet2. The contract calls for CenturyLink to connect as many as 150 DoD locations nationwide with a dedicated high-speed fiber-optic network, with speeds ranging from 50 Mbits/s to up to 100 Gbits/sec. Given that the contract also calls for the telco to deploy Ethernet, IP and optical services, it’s likely that the 50-Mbits/s threshold is a per-user basis, with site-to-site communications in the gigabit range. It’s all part of the U.S. Department of Defense’s High Performance Computing Modernization Program (DoD HPCMP), which aims to solve complicated and time-consuming problems with massively-parallel computing and very high-speed networking. The HPCMP program was formed in 1992, with the aim of connecting what had been separate facilities and test labs developed and maintained by the Army, Navy, and Air Force. That network is known as the Defense Research and Engineering Network (DREN) network, which currently uses an OC-48 optical network providing 2.4 Gbit/s between facilities, according to the military.