Wednesday, March 28, 2007

US Gov't Awards Largest Ever "Networx" Contract

The General Services Administration (GSA), which is the central procurement agency for the U.S. government, awarded a set of contracts under its "Networx" program valued at an estimated $20 billion over 10 years -- believed to be the largest networking contracts ever issued.

Contract award recipients include AT&T, Verizon Business Services (MCI), and Qwest Government Services.

The Networx program consists of two acquisitions: Networx Universal and Networx Enterprise (to be awarded in May).

The Networx Universal program covers voice, IP, wireless, satellite and IP-centric services to 135 federal agencies across 191 countries. The goal of the Networx program is to transform the current federal telecommunications system to a secure, worldwide IP and MPLS-based network compliant with IPv6 and other major technological advances anticipated throughout its contract life.

The Networx Enterprise is expected to result in multiple awards and may include services not offered by the Networx Universal suppliers; however, many services in Networx Enterprise will be the same as those services in Networx Universal.

The GSA issued its first RFP for the Networx program in May 2005 and evaluations have been underway since then.

AT&T said its Networx team will bring together various partners, including Northrop Grumman Information Technology, EDS, GTSI Corp., SRA International, Bechtel National and Global Crossing.

Verizon Business said it is ready to meet the government's demands for next-generation networking services. The company last year opened a new Government Network Operations and Security Center (GNOSC) in Northern Virginia dedicated to supporting the unique security and operational requirements of federal government customers. The GNOSC, along with Verizon Business's vBNS+ (Very High Speed Backbone Network Service), will also play an important role in helping the federal government adopt IPv6 by the mandated transition target of June 2008.

In addition to Networx, Qwest noted several other large awards from the U.S. government that it recently received. In November, Qwest was the winner of a contract worth up to $100 million from the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) to provide bandwidth transmission services for connecting military installations located across the West to the Global Information Grid (GIG) over the next 10 years. And last month, Qwest announced it will be the sole provider of telecommunications services to federal agencies in nine Western states in a contract from the GSA worth at least $10 million.