GSA extends Networx award dates

The General Services Administration has extended the award dates for its $20 billion Networx procurement to March 2007 for the Universal awards and May 2007 for the Enterprise awards.

The changes in the award dates for the 10-year telecommunications and networks contract follows an announcement by GSA on Jan. 20 to extend its current Federal Telecommunication System 2001 contracts for two years with the contract incumbents.

GSA spokesman Blake Williams could not comment on the reason the award dates had been pushed ahead from July 2006 for Universal and September 2006 for Enterprise. He did not know if GSA planned to publish an announcement on the FedBizOpps Web site.

The Universal part of the Networx procurement will provide government locations with a broad range of telecom services nationwide. Networx Enterprise will offer a mix of specialized Internet protocol or wireless services in specific geographical areas. GSA will issue multiple awards for each.

Networx will replace the FTS 2001 contract for governmentwide telecom services, which expires in 2006. MCI Worldcom Communications Inc. and Sprint Communications LP are the two current contract holders. GSA is negotiating new sole-source contracts with them to ensure that FTS 2001 users have uninterrupted operations and services until the agency awards the replacement Networx contracts.

The current contract for Sprint (now Sprint Nextel Corp. of Reston, Va.) expires Dec. 17, 2006, while the contract for MCI (now MCI LLC of Ashburn, Va.) expires Jan. 10, 2007.

The new contracts will run to Dec. 17, 2008, for Sprint and to Jan. 10, 2009, for MCI. They also carry options for the two companies to provide services for three additional six-month periods beyond the new expiration dates to provide up to 42 months for the transition to the Networx contracts.

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