Networx is hare fast, but awards are turtle slow

Only 3 awards were made last month

Federal agencies’ internal actions on the General Services Administration’s Networx telecommunications acquisition contract may be fervid, but the pace of new statements of work or fair opportunity awards are better characterized as languid, observers say.

Networx allows agencies to focus their resources on building seamless, secure operating environments while ensuring access to the best technology industry has to offer, GSA says.

But during the past month, only two statements of work have moved a step closer to transitioning services from the old FTS2001 system to Networx, and just three awards have been made.

However, judging the progress of the Networx transition is about more than just numbers, said Warren Suss, president of Suss Consulting Inc.

“I think you have to look beyond the statistics, beyond the number of [statements of work] or awards and weight them in terms of the size of the agency making the award or doing the" statements of work he said.

Looking at the kind of circuits being ordered “doesn’t tell the whole story,” Suss added. “You have to look at the volume of an activity, at whether it’s a Cabinet-level agency doing the work.”

September Networx transition awards went to:

  • Commerce Department: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, under Networx Universal, for Continental U.S. Next Generation Weather Radar frame relay service, private-line service, designated approval authority for systems certification and accreditation activities, Telecommunications Service Priority, to Verizon Federal Business on Sept. 28.
  • State Department: Broadcasting Board of Governors, under Networx Universal, for private-line, toll-free and circuit-switched data services, to Verizon on Sept. 30.
  • Homeland Security Department: U.S. Customs and Immigration Service, under Networx Universal, for Web conferencing services, to AT&T Government Solutions on Sept. 22.

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office is moving quickly, revising a statement of work under Networx Universal that it submitted to GSA for review a few weeks ago.

NOAA also has progressed on an 18-month-old Networx Universal statement of work for its National Environmental Satellite, Data and Information Service. The agency is currently revising a statement of work it submitted to GSA for review in April 2009 for converged IP virtual private network and private-line services.

About the Author

Sami Lais is a special contributor to Washington Technology.

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