GSA releases draft Networx RFPs

The General Services Administration today released two draft requests for proposals for its $10 billion Networx telecommunications governmentwide acquisition contract.

The draft RFPs cover both approaches?universal and enterprise?that GSA is taking to replace its FTS 2001 telecommunications contract, which was won by Sprint Corp. and MCI Inc., and expires in 2006. The universal RFP is for companies that offer nationwide telecommunications services; the enterprise RFP is for companies that offer specialized telecommunications services but don't necessarily have a nationwide reach.

GSA expects to release the final RFPs by April 1 and award multiple contracts by April 2006.

The draft RFPs said the multiple-award, task order contracts will have a four-year base and three two-year options, for a total of 10 years.

John Johnson, assistant commissioner for service delivery in GSA's Federal Technology Service, said the agency has stayed the course with the draft RFPs it has been discussing over the past few months.

"We've done a very good job with regard to the thoroughness of draft RFPs," Johnson said. "I'm hopeful that the comments we receive from industry and agencies will help us refine it and have a superb product in April 2005."

Johnson said GSA refined many areas of the draft RFP and tried to deal with some of the billing concerns.

He also said the requirement of companies providing ubiquity for 6,000 service centers remains under the universal contract.

GSA broke the contract up into six service areas:

* Telecommunications, which includes communications transport, IP-based and optical services

* Management and application, which includes storage, hosting, collaboration support and video conferencing

* Security, which includes managed firewall, intrusion detection and prevention and anti-virus management

* Special services, such as satellite or land mobile radio transmission

* Wireless, which could include cellular, paging and cellular digital packet

*Access services, which is to connect to agency networks

"We are hoping industry will find the draft RFPs complete and they will facilitate a clear understanding of what our intent is and we will receive meaningful comments as a result of this product," Johnson said.

GSA and the Industry Advisory Council will host an industry day Nov. 5 to discuss Networx. Comments are due by Dec. 22.

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