Two companies get WITS about them

The General Services Administration has picked two companies to provide telecommunications services to federal agencies in the Washington, D.C., region. The agency has awarded its Washington Interagency Telecommunications Systems 3 contract to Verizon Business Network Services Inc. and Level 3 Communications LLC.

The contract provides agencies a vehicle through which they can purchase local telecommunications services for their Washington, D.C.-area offices. It complements the Networx contract program, which is available to agencies worldwide, said. James Williams, commissioner of GSA's Federal Acquisition Service.

The contract's two carriers will compete for individual orders through the contract, giving agencies some choice.

"The ability to choose encourages competition, and competition presents business opportunities that can stimulate economic growth within the region," said Tony Reed, administrator of GSA's National Capital Region.

WITS 3 provides traditional voice and data centers, along with converged voice-over-IP, video teleconferencing and Internet access.

The contract could span up to eight years, divided into a four-year base period and four one-year optional extensions. If it runs its full course, its estimated value is $1.8 billion.

About the Author

Technology journalist Michael Hardy is a former FCW editor.

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