Pentagon Picks Verizon for WITS2001 Work

Pentagon Picks Verizon for WITS2001 Work<CR>

By Jennifer Freer, Staff Writer

OCT. 5 ? The Defense Department has signed up to use the General Services Administration's contract with Verizon Communications Inc. for local telecommunications products and services.

The Verizon Federal unit will provide the services through the GSA's Washington Interagency Telecommunications System 2001 contract-or WITS2001. Under this contract, which is valued at $1.4 billion over the next eight years, Verizon Federal provides a broad range of voice and data local telecommunications services to federal agencies in the Washington metropolitan area.

In the past, the Defense Department has contracted for its own telecom services. GSA estimates the Defense Department will save $20 million by using the WITS contract.

The contract provides lower costs, minimal telephone number changes, options for direct billing from the WITS2001 contractor or from GSA, Web-based ordering and the ability of new technology to be added to the contract quickly.

"We are excited about the partnership, the excellent prices and this precedent-setting agreement between DOD and the GSA," said Sandra Bates, commissioner of GSA's Federal Technology Service, in an Oct. 4 statement.

This effort reflects due diligence between two federal organizations' collaboration to bring true cost savings and added value across government, said Sandra Riley, deputy administrative assistant to the Secretary of the Army.

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