11 Ways SATCOM-II Puts You In Orbit

SATCOM-II Program Manager Jim Russo shares his “top ten plus one list” of what SATCOM-II has to offer government.

1. SATCOM-II offers end-to-end commercial satellite solutions, includingservices and equipment.

According the GSA website SATCOM-II provides four types of services:


* Type I Services – Transport Services All service providers offer Mobile Satellite Service, Fixed Satellite Service, or both.
* Type II Services – Applications Services All service providers offer at least one Satellite Applications Service. These may be Distance Learning, Emergency Response/Continuity of Operations Planning, Telemedicine, Streaming Video, and Broadcast Satellite Service (BSS).
* Type III Services – Design, Engineering, and Maintenance Services Design, Engineering, and Maintenance Services provide satellite system engineering design, configuration, installation, implementation, training, and ongoing maintenance and operational support for the services delivered under Service Types I and II.
* Type IV Services – Professional Support Services (Small Business only) Professional Support Services include abstract or concept studies and analysis, strategic and preliminary planning, requirements definition and analysis, the evaluation of alternative technical approaches, modeling and simulation, enterprise architecture design, cost/cost- performance trade-off analysis, feasibility analysis, regulatory compliance support, system engineering, independent verification and validation, and Information Assurance certification and accreditation.


2. There are 25 contractors under the SATCOM-II program; 16 large businesses, and 9 small businesses. All contractors provide at least one service from Service Types I and II, and all of Service Type III.

SATCOM-II is open to all Civilian and Military Agencies and other entities identified in GSA ADM4800.2e. Third parties may place order on behalf of a Federal Agency provided FAR 51.102 is met. However state and local governments are not authorized to use SATCOM-II. They can use GSA Schedules.

3. SATCOM-II contractors include space segment providers, integrators, and companies specializing in providing engineering services.

SATCOM-II contractors provide a variety of emergency response and disaster recovery solutions, distance learning solutions, telemedicine solutions and satellite Internet access and video streaming and broadcast services.

4. Customers can receive quotes at any time from the SATCOM-II contractors by using the GSA e-Buy system.

Start by visiting the GSA web site at www.gsa.gov/satcom. At GSA’s web site you will find resources such as the SATCOM-II Customer Users Guide and Contractors Services Matrices.

Access SATCOM-II contracts online through links to each contractor's web site to see what each has to offer. Then access e-Buy for SATCOM-II; select Network Services and Telecommunications under the GSA Technology Contracts listing; then select SATCOM-II.

5. Customers can place Task Orders using the Direct Order/Direct Bill or the GSA Assisted Services option.

Customers can use the Direct Order/Direct Bill (using Fair Opportunity) option. First, use e-Buy for RFQs and RFPs. Then, review each Contractor's contract online. Determine which contractors provide service/equipment and places order with appropriate contractor in accordance with the FAR.

Agencies place task order directly with contractor after receiving response to RFP or RFQ.  A 2% contract management fee has been included in all contract pricing.

Or you can use GSA Assisted Services where your regional GSA office can perform ordering and billing services as desired by the customer. An additional fee will apply.

6. There is no minimum order for SATCOM-II and all contractors offer at least one type of satellite transport service (mobile or fixed), one satellite based application, and all supporting engineering services such as installation and maintenance.

There is no minimum order value and the maximum order can up to the individual contractor’s NTE amount. SATCOM-II is a services contract. Construction is out of scope under SATCOM-II, unless it is combined as part of providing a service and not individually priced as a single contract line item.

7. Satellite is a Green technology – a satellite receives almost all its power from solar energy.

Russo explained that “if you just stand back and look at the Washington DC region, and I’ll pick the top 12 terrestrial broadcasters and tally up how many megawatts it takes at any given point in time for them to broadcast their signal, the carbon dioxide that those transmitters generate over a year is some finite number, whereas the satellite is beaming the same content to the same users, arguably the same users, using solar power.”

8. GSA has established a dedicated program and contracting team to serve SATCOM-II customers and contractors.

Over the past year, Russo feels that the program has gained a lot of traction as people get more familiar with the program.

“They see its advantages, they see we have a dedicated program and contracting team in place that are savvy in the area of satellite services,”  Russo explained. “They understand the differences between mobile and fixed satellite services. They know who the contractors are and who specializes in what services, they understand the pricing factors and the way to market all that.”

Further by having that dedicated team the SATCOM-II team is able to help the customers and the contractors quickly execute modifications and proposals. “We make sure that our contract stays within scope; we keep it focused and we are good about talking to the customers about how to use the program,” said Russo.

9. Since program inception last year, over 39 Federal Agencies have already placed orders with SATCOM-II contractors.

“We’ve got our guides up on line and we revise them to keep them fresh and up to date, said Russo.  “We make sure that people know that it’s a task order based program; and we tell them here’s what you have to do to place an order. So I think we’ve laid the ground work and we are reaping the benefits of that now.”

10. The GSA portfolio also includes satellite equipment available through GSA Schedules and satellite network access available through Networx.

SATCOM-II: Offers a complete suite of commercial, Mobile, Fixed, and Broadcast services and equipment as well as end-to-end satellite-centric solutions such as Emergency Communications kits and Distance Learning networks. Any satellite service offered commercially is within scope and offered through one or more SATCOM-II contractors.

Networx Universal: Two of the Networx Universal contractors (AT&T and Verizon) offer satellite services. AT&T offers Mobile and Fixed satellite services; Verizon offers Fixed and Broadcast satellite services. The Networx satellite services can support a complete suite of telecommunications and networking services to extend the reach of an Agency's global network and must meet the technical specifications incorporated in the Networx contracts. See www.gsa.gov/networx for more information.

Networx Enterprise: Satellite services were optional and none of the five contract holders bid or were awarded satellite services.

GSA Schedules: Equipment, services and labor are available from more than two dozen suppliers. Schedules can be used by federal, state and local government buyers.

Russo noted that GSA Schedules, SATCOM-II and Networx are all viable ways for agencies to acquire satellite solutions for their particular requirements.  “We really do complement each other.”

11. Competitive Pricing, continuous competition and high quality service make SATCOM-II a win-win for your agency.

Russo said all equipment and services offered under the SATCOM-II contract are equal to or less than commercial pricing. By awarding multiple contracts that provide a broad array of service options, it ensures continuous competition among service providers throughout the life of the acquisition. All that leads to ensuring high quality service is delivered throughout the terms of the contracts.

Source: GSA