Verizon to lead DHS OneNet award

Originally posted at 2:13PM May 14; updated at 11:30AM May 15

(UPDATED) Verizon Business will perform the lion's share of the work on the Homeland Security Department's OneNet telecommunications contract with support from AT&T Government Solutions.

The OneNet award, under the General Services Administration's Networx Universal contract vehicle, has a maximum value of $970 million through March 2017, DHS spokesman Larry Orluskie said.

OneNet will replace seven existing wide-area networks (WANs) with a secure IP intranet that will facilitate the future convergence of IP and wireless and make it possible for all DHS components to share data.

Networx is the largest federal telecommunications contract ever awarded by GSA. It gives federal agencies a common contract vehicle for purchasing a wide range of networking, professional and technical communications services.

Verizon, as the primary provider on OneNet, will receive up to $678 million to provide a range of services, including network portals, managed network services, Internet access and remote access. AT&T, as back-up provider, will receive a maximum of $292 million, Orluskie said.

Verizon Business will help combine the multiple, separate WANs at DHS' 22 agencies into one common, secure IP network, the telecommunications company said. It will also manage and secure more than 5,000 agency sites worldwide and create a Security Operations Center for DHS.

Additionally, Verizon Business will help DHS prepare for man-made and natural disasters through the use of the Emergency Communications Services ? a new service available to all government agencies under Networx Universal that establishes quick, mobile connectivity for emergency responses.

AT&T Government Solutions will serve as the OneNet secondary network services provider in the Eastern and Western regions of the United States, AT&T said in a statement.

In March, AT&T won a task order under the Networx Universal contract worth up to $20 million to provide voice services for DHS' Customs and Border Protection agency.

Under the 10-year task order, AT&T will be the primary provider of network voice services to Customs and Border Protection's 47,000 employees around the country.

Orluskie said the next step is for GSA to tailor its Networx contract terms with Verizon Business and AT&T Government Services to meet the specific needs of DHS and allow the department to begin making purchases from the vendors.

Parent company Verizon Communications Inc., of New York, ranks No. 18 on Washington Technology's 2008 Top 100 list of the largest federal government prime contractors. Based in San Antonio, Texas, AT&T ranks No. 38.

About the Authors

David Hubler is the former print managing editor for GCN and senior editor for Washington Technology. He is freelance writer living in Annandale, Va.

Alice Lipowicz is a staff writer covering government 2.0, homeland security and other IT policies for Federal Computer Week.

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