WT Business Beat

By Nick Wakeman

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GSA releases draft of huge telecom contract

The momentum is starting to pick up for the long awaited follow-on to the Networx telecommunications contract.

The General Services Administration released the draft request for proposals over the weekend for the Enterprise Infrastructure Solutions contract, part of the agency’s Network Services 2020 strategy.

GSA is expecting comments on the draft through March 31.

The draft describes 13 services areas the contract will cover:

  • Data Service
  • Voice Service
  • Contact Center Service
  • Data Center Service
  • Cloud Service
  • Wireless Service
  • Commercial Satellite Communications Service
  • Managed Service
  • Service Related Equipment
  • Service Related Labor
  • Cable and Wiring
  • Access Arrangements
  • National Security and Emergency preparedness

The draft also explores new pricing constructs for the contract that GSA describes as a hybrid model.

The telecommunications industry is in a period of transition as it moves to pricing simplification. Legacy copper based-wire and physical voice switching are planned for obsolescence in the few years, according to the draft.

GSA envisions a hybrid of legacy and simpler modern pricing schemes at the start of the contract and a path toward future pricing structures.

Comments on the draft will be collected via an new portal – the GSA EIS Acquisition portal. It requires pre-registration to gain access.

GSA expects to release the final RFP in June.

The Networx contract, which has two parts, Enterprise and Universal, is scheduled to expire in 2017, but likely will be extended to 2020 to give more time for the transition from Networx to the EIS contract.

The transition was a major issue when agencies moved from FTS-2001 to Networx. GSA is trying to simplify the ordering process. It also hopes to attract more contractors than Networx has, which is held by AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, CenturyLink and Level 3.

Attracting new bidders beyond the traditional telecom players likely will be GSA’s biggest challenge. The cost of building the infrastructure to win and manage large telecommunications contracts can be a huge barrier to entry.

Posted by Nick Wakeman on Mar 02, 2015 at 9:32 AM

Reader Comments

Mon, Mar 2, 2015

Is it true that the FFRDCs are lobbying to be allowed to bid?

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