Sitting on Go--Almost
Four of the biggest telecom companies spent close to three years preparing their bids for the Networx contract, the most sweeping--and most expensive--overhaul of the guts of the federal government's communication systems in history. The contract is estimated to be worth $20 billion, but could grow to as much as $68 billion over the next 10 years.
Now the winners--Verizon, AT&T and Qwest--are getting ready to play ball. (SprintNextel was left out of the deal.) But they have a lot of hoops to jump through before they can even begin bidding on projects from specific agencies. For example, they have to demonstrate how their technology works--right down to the billing process. That, in theory, is supposed to prove to the General Services Administration, which oversees the contract, that the companies can indeed do what their proposals said they can.
Over the last few weeks, each company has held elaborate "launch" events to show off their technologies to potential clients, i.e. government agencies. AT&T held their showcase event today; Verizon and Qwest each held one earlier this month. Basically, the events were the start of what the companies will be doing for the next several years: convincing agencies to abandon their old service providers and hire them to revamp their networks.
The GSA is supposed to award the second part of the contract sometime next week.
AT&T executives said they probably won't be able to start the actual work on a Networx project until August--six months after the deal was awarded. By then, executives expect to have completed all of the GSA's requirements. And the previous telecom contract, known as FTS 2001, will have expired.
Seems like a lot of steps in order to finally start the work on this highly anticipated telecommunications contract that's been three years in the making. It will be interesting to see how the transition goes.
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Posted by: Aaron | May 25, 2007 6:10 PM
Posted by: crw, Fairfax, VA | May 26, 2007 3:44 PM
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