80 Fed Agencies Aboard FTS2001, GSA Says
80 Fed Agencies Aboard FTS2001, GSA Says<CR>
By Jennifer Freer, Staff Writer
SEPT. 20 ? Eighty federal agencies have moved their telecommunications services to the General Services Administration's FTS2001 contract from FTS2000, the GSA reported Sept. 19.
FTS2001 is GSA's $5 billion long-distance telecommunications contract to provide government agencies with long-distance, data and video services. Awarded to WorldCom Inc. in early 1999 and Sprint Corp. in late 1998, the contract spans eight years. AT&T Corp. and Sprint shared the FTS2000 contract.
The Federal Reserve Board, U.S. Supreme Court, Export-Import Bank and the Executive Office of the President are among those that have successfully transitioned to the new contract.
Although there were "unique requirements, technical sophistication and diverse locations" that complicated the move from FTS2000 to FTS2001, these agencies are already reaping the benefits of the new contract with more services available and significant cost savings, according to the GSA.
"At our Network Services Conference last April, I challenged them to transition before Sept. 30," said Sandra Bates, GSA's Federal Technology Service commissioner. "They met that goal. It is gratifying to know that so many people worked so well together to overcome the many challenges transition offered."
To date, the U.S. Courts, the administrative offices of all federal courts, is the largest agency to complete transition, well ahead of the Dec. 6 expiration of the old FTS2000 contract. Although the largest agencies of government are not completely finished with the transition to FTS2001, most are near completion.
The Social Security Administration transitioned its toll-free telephone networks, the most complex, switched 800-service network of its type, in just six weeks. The departments of Agriculture, Defense, and Justice have each moved asynchronous transfer mode and frame relay networks that reach 500 or more locations.
In total, voice and data services at more than 29,000 locations nationwide have been moved to the new contract.
Frank Lalley, assistant commissioner of FTS Office of Service Delivery, said that certain services at some agencies may not complete the transition before the Dec. 6 deadline. GSA is working with AT&T Corp., Basking Ridge, N.J., Sprint Corp., Westwood, Kan., and WorldCom Inc., Clinton, Miss., to ensure that existing FTS2000 services will continue without interruption until the transition is complete.