Verizon, AT&T win Social Security Networx awards

Verizon Business and AT&T Government Solutions have won Networx Universal awards from the Social Security Administration totaling $220 million for telecom services.

Verizon Business and AT&T Government Solutions have won Networx Universal awards from the Social Security Administration, totaling $220 million for telecom services.

Under the General Services Administration's contract, valued at $140 million, Verizon will handle primary IP and data services tasks for SSA and continue to manage the agency’s Enterprise-Wide Network Infrastructure (SSANet) wide-area network, via two network operations centers.

The carrier also will transition the part of SSANet used to connect the agency with its external business partners to a Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS) IP network. Verizon previously implemented a similar transition for SSA's internal network.

"The [SSA] was an early believer in the transformational power of IP," said Susan Zeleniak, Verizon Federal group president. "The new contract establishes a solid foundation that will enable the SSA to meet the growing demand for services – the number of beneficiaries is expected to double over the next 10 years – and to help enhance the overall level of service the SSA provides."

As secondary data provider for SSANet, AT&T will collect $80 million in awards to continue to provide on-site support and MPLS services for any-to-any network activity between SSA offices and data centers. SSA has been an AT&T customer for several years; the carrier currently provides MPLS data network services for about 1,000 SSA locations in the United States.

“AT&T will help the agency provide a high-quality citizen service experience through our MPLS infrastructure to accommodate an anticipated influx of new users, including retiring, largely Internet-savvy baby boomers,” said Don Herring, AT&T Government senior vice president. “The [SSA] has a long, successful history of serving the retirement needs of citizens throughout the country,” he said.

SSA provides a wide variety of retirement services via a nationwide, decentralized network of 1,500 offices, card centers, processing centers and other offices, supported by 64,000 employees.

Verizon, of New York, ranks No. 16 on Washington Technology's 2009 Top 100 list of the largest federal government prime contractors. AT&T, of San Antonio, ranks No. 42 on the list.