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Bid for GSA Telecom Contract Still Requires Questions

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Bid for GSA Telecom Contract Still Requires Questions

February 19, 2016

  By Casey Houser, Contributing Writer

The General Services Administration of the U.S. Federal Government is hanging a very large carrot – one worth $50 billion – in front of the noses of some of the country’s biggest telecommunications companies.

Potential bidders, of course, want that giant reward and are willing to dig through the nitty-gritty to understand all they can about what the GSA’s (News - Alert) Enterprise Infrastructure Solutions contract will entail. According to a report at FCW, the deadline for bids comes only in a few days, Feb. 22, but companies such as AT&T and Verizon (News - Alert) have not stopped asking questions about the details of the contract. All told, potential bidders and potential agency customers have asked more than 1,600 questions about the project since the GSA filed the formal request for proposals back in October 2015.

FCW further noted that the GSA is working right up to the deadline. Its most recent posting of answers took place on Feb. 12 – only 10 days before this weekend’s deadline.

The GSA hopes to make the transition from a current contract with Networx to the winner of bids in this race. It reportedly wants to have a complete switch to Enterprise Infrastructure Solutions complete by May 2020 at the latest.

Make no doubt about it: The contact is not just huge in monetary value. Debbie Hren, the network services transition director in the Office of Network Services Programs at the GSA, commented in a conference this week that more than 200 agencies used about six million services that fell within the scope of the Networx contract. The new contract stands to replace those services with more up-to-date telecommunications services that can better assist government employees with their communications.

Assuming that all goes to plan, transition teams should be formed by March 2016. Those will include direction from a senior agency executive from the GSA, a telecom program manager from the winning company, and an acquisition representative. Transition plans are expected to be finished by October 2016. Then work can begin to get the transition halfway complete by January 2019 and fully ready no more than a year after that deadline.

Edited by Rory J. Thompson
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