WorldCom Begins Installing $50 Million Covanet

WorldCom Begins Installing $50 Million Covanet<CR>

By Jennifer Freer, Staff Writer

SEPT. 11 ? WorldCom Inc. has started installing Covanet, the Commonwealth of Virginia Network that will serve as the state's e-infrastructure network, company officials announced today.

Under terms of the five-year, $50 million contract, which was awarded in May, WorldCom will build and design an integrated data and voice communications network that will serve as the platform for Virginia's e-government initiatives.

"Covanet will provide the Virginia state government with the most advanced telecommunications network in the nation," said Don Upson, Virginia's Secretary of Technology. "State agencies, universities and local governments will have access to state-of-the-art services regardless of where in the commonwealth services are needed."

The Covanet contract will enable Virginia to put state government services online, such as renewing drivers' licenses and hunting and fishing licenses, using networking solutions, and combining public Internet and private frame relay and ATM technologies, company officials said.

WorldCom, Clinton, Miss., has been working with Virginia since 1987. With this contract, WorldCom will continue to provide toll-free telecom services, calling cards and enhanced call routing across the state.

"WorldCom is helping Virginia to make government more accessible to the digital generation of businesses and citizens that reside in the East Coast's technology corridor," said Jerry Edgerton, WorldCom senior vice president of government markets. "We are proud to build the communications platform that will be the foundation for Virginia's e-government initiative."

In addition to the high-speed network, the contract has provisions enabling WorldCom to add new and emerging technologies as they become available to Virginia's state, county and local governments and educational institutions.

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