DISA adds AT&T to Pentagon FTS2001 picks

AT&T Corp. has won approval from the Defense Department to compete with Sprint Communications Corp. and WorldCom Inc. for telecommunications services under the FTS2001 contract.

The Defense Information Systems Agency notified the General Services Administration last month that it would changed its approved vendors under the contract, effective Jan. 1.

Sprint and WorldCom were the original winners of GSA's FTS2001 when it was awarded three years ago. But under "crossover" provisions, companies that hold a Metropolitan Area Acquisition contract for local services could be added to compete after a grace period ended. AT&T won approval to compete for civilian agencies' telecommunications work under the contract in 2001.

In a Dec. 13 letter, DISA told GSA it would "grant all partners equal provider status ... customers will be allowed to use Sprint, [WorldCom] or AT&T to meet their FTS2001 telecommunications needs as they deem necessary."

New York-based AT&T was an incumbent on the original governmentwide telecommunications contract, FTS2000, but found itself shut out when FTS2001 was awarded in December 1999 and January 2000 to Sprint and WorldCom, respectively.

"We're absolutely delighted that DISA has agreed to allow AT&T Government Solutions to be on equal footing with WorldCom and Sprint under the FTS2001 contract," said Chris Rooney, president of the AT&T unit. "We intend to compete aggressively to win our share of this business."

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