GSA readies WITS 3 solicitation

The General Services Administration plans to issue a final request for proposals this month for its eight-year, $1.8 billion Washington Interagency Telecommunications System 3 program. Industry proposals will be due 90 days after the RFP is released.

As the follow-on to the WITS2001 contract, WITS 3 will continue to furnish local telecommunications services within the National Capital Region. The area covered includes Washington, the Maryland counties of Montgomery and Prince George's, the Virginia counties of Arlington, Fairfax, Loudoun and Prince William, and the Virginia cities of Alexandria, Fairfax, Falls Church and Manassas.

The WITS 3 contract is for a four-year based period and four one-year options. GSA plans to issue multiple awards for the contract in the first quarter of 2007.

WITS 3 also will serve as a platform for users to migrate to GSA's Networx contract based on individual agency requirements, funding and timelines. Networx is GSA's $20 billion governmentwide contract for telecom and networks, which is scheduled for award next year.

The WITS2001 contract, held by Verizon Communications Inc. and Qwest Communications International Inc., lets federal agencies in the National Capital Region buy local access, data and telecommunications equipment. Verizon of New York won the original eight-year, $1.4 billion WITS2001 contract in 2000. Qwest, based in Denver, was added later as part of a crossover agreement which lets Metropolitan Area Acquisition telecom contractors compete in additional MAA markets. The WITS2001 contract expires in January 2008.

GSA issued the draft RFP for WITS 3 May 1.

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