AT&T becomes third to protest DREN award

AT&T Corp. has joined Global Crossing Ltd. and Sprint Communications Corp. in objecting to the award of the Defense Research and Engineering Network contract to WorldCom Inc. earlier this month.

The New York company filed its protest with the Government Accounting Office late April 22.

"We believe our proposal was not evaluated fairly or reasonably," said AT&T spokesman James Byrnes.

The award of the 10-year contract, which has a $450 million ceiling, has been a procurement nightmare for the Defense Information Systems Agency, the organization responsible for the contract process.

DISA awarded DREN to Global Crossing of Hamilton, Bermuda, last July, but quickly withdrew it when AT&T, Sprint of Westwood, Kan., WorldCom of Clinton, Miss., and Qwest Communications International Inc. of Denver, all appealed the selection.

The agency was set to award the contract a second time in January, again to Global Crossing, but had to hold off when the company announced it was filing for bankruptcy.

The GAO has already placed a hold on the contract award, blocking WorldCom from taking it over from incumbent AT&T.

Qwest, the last remaining losing bidder, has not announced whether it will protest the award.

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