Qwest Lands Treasury VPN Contract

Qwest Communications International Inc. of Denver announced it won a one-year blanket purchase agreement from the Internal Revenue Service to provide a managed virtual private network to 13 Treasury Department bureaus that will give users remote access to all bureau networks.

The contract includes two one-year options. V-ONE Corp. of Germantown, Md., a provider of VPN technology, will be a subcontractor to Qwest.

The project will allow the bureaus to consolidate activities and ensure interoperability through implementing the VPN, which will reside on Qwest's network. Treasury bureaus now operate separate networks on multiple platforms.

In the new environment, the bureaus also will have managed firewall and secure VPN services.

The VPN will offer other benefits, including an online registration process which, when coupled with local and toll-free access to e-mail and other data, allow users to access applications while traveling or working from home.

"Customers with multiple communications networks will be able to consolidate their activities using this Qwest VPN," said James Payne, senior vice president of Qwest's government division. "By using Qwest's Internet backbone as the VPN, customers will have unparalleled access to their data 24 hours a day."

A Qwest spokesman declined to place a dollar value on the contract, saying its worth depends on what the Treasury Department ultimately orders.

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