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FCW : January and February 2017
The General Services Administration is preparing to award its 15-year, $50 billion contract for 21st-century tele- communications. The agency is also busy making sure its customer agen- cies will be able to use it. GSA has not set a firm award date for the massive Enterprise Infrastruc- ture Solutions (EIS) contract, which will undergird the agency’s next-gen- eration telecom strategy dubbed Net- work Services 2020. But Mary Davie, assistant commissioner of GSA’s Office of Information Technology Category, and other officials have said the target is this spring. Some deadlines for the extremely complex contract have slipped in the past year, though not substantially, and Davie and her crew in GSA’s Office of Network Services Programs have been cagey about specifying an award date. Judging from public presentations made by some of the bidders, they expect an award sometime in May. Ten companies have lined up for the contract, including traditional telecom companies AT&T, BT, CenturyLink, Frontier Communications and Veri- zon, and less traditional providers Core Technologies, Hughes, Level 3 Com- munications, MetTel and Windstream. Amando Gavino, director of GSA’s Office of Network Services Programs, told FCW the EIS contract is designed to be a total solutions vehicle that embraces “the full array of enterprise infrastructure services and capabilities necessary for an agency to fulfill its overall telecom requirements.” He added that EIS will replace the agency’s Networx, Washington Inter- agency Telecommunications System 3 and local telecom services contracts and create a single acquisition vehicle that gives agencies more control over the $2 billion per year in network and communications services now pur- chased through the old contracts. “EIS is designed to meet this demand with a lower acquisition cost and a lower service cost, thereby decreas- ing the overall cost of ownership to government agencies,” Gavino said. As the old contracts reach the end of their terms, he said federal agencies are shifting away from time-division multiplexing (TDM) technologies, such as DS1 and DS3, to Ethernet-based technologies. Telecom transition is looming BY MARK ROCKWELL It’s close to award time for GSA’s huge next-generation telecom contract, and the agency has been working hard to set the stage for its implementation ExecTe c h 26 January/February 2017 FCW.COM 0217fcw_026-027.indd 26 1/24/17 9:43 AM
November and December 2016