Sprint is Hardly Lying Low<@VM>Techtoons

To the Editor:

I would like to shed some light on some of the issues covered in the July 17 article on Sprint Corp. ["Sprint Could Suffer from Failed WorldCom Merger," page 24] The article obscured the fact that Sprint has been aggressively pursuing federal business and serving the growing telecommunications needs of federal agencies over the past year ? despite talks of a potential merger with WorldCom.

Even as Sprint was seeking approval of the proposed merger, we never stopped competing for business on the FTS2001 contract. And we have been successful; roughly half of the agencies using FTS2001 have selected Sprint as their service provider. Consequently, Washington Technology's survey of the top 100 federal contractors ranked Sprint second among all telecommunications service providers, ahead of Bell Atlantic and WorldCom.

Over the past year, we have worked tirelessly to move our customers from the old FTS2000 network onto FTS2001. I'm pleased to report that we have to date transitioned more than 75 percent of our FTS2001 customer sites to the new network. Agencies that have transitioned will reap the benefits of lower prices and technological enhancements available on FTS2001. To that end, Sprint's contract has been amended this year to include new offerings, such as a full spectrum of network management services and a greater variety of speeds and connectivity options for frame relay and asynchronous transfer mode data networking services.

While the transition to FTS2001 has been a priority for Sprint, we have pursued other opportunities in other government market segments. For example, we won a significant contract this year from the Federal Reserve to provide a secure frame relay data network. Our division also won five contracts to provide state governments with telecommunications relay services for deaf and hard-of-hearing customers.

In addition, we are teaming with prime bidders on major procurements, such as the Navy/Marine Corps Intranet contract and the Federal Aviation Administration's FTI program.

This is but a sample of the ongoing initiatives at Sprint Government Systems Division, which illustrate the fact that we have been engaged actively in the federal market. In fact, we expanded our GSD staff this year by more than 40 percent to meet the needs of our growing federal customer base.

The review of our proposed merger with WorldCom by U.S. regulators and the European Commission made one thing abundantly clear: Sprint is a formidable competitor and comprehensive services provider in its own right. Irrespective of the merger process, we have continued the technological innovation, excellent customer service and creative marketing that has been our hallmark.

I want to assure Sprint's federal customers that they can count on our support now and in the future. In the longstanding tradition of Sprint GSD, we will continue to be leaders in the federal telecommunications market.

Tony D'Agata

Vice president and general manager

Sprint Government Systems Division

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