Post-FTS 2000 RFP calls for fast services, many contracts

The draft request for proposals released last week for the
post-FTS 2000 telecommunications program calls for bleeding-edge wireless and asynchronous
transfer mode/Sonet services up 2.4 gigabits/sec. Such speeds now exist only on a handful
of agency research networks.

The General Services Administration plans to award a minimum of six contracts for
services. The plums will be two contracts for comprehensive services similar to those
supplied under the current FTS 2000 program by AT&T Corp. and Sprint Corp.

The comprehensive services contracts cover circuit-switched, dedicated and
packet-switched services, plus fixed-satellite and other wireless offerings. Besides the
two contracts for comprehensive services, GSA expects to award at least one contract in
each individual category. Successful bidders on the comprehensive services contracts will
be ineligible for any of the other awards.

All the base contracts will run for four years with two three-year options--a maximum
of 10 years.

With the current 10-year FTS 2000 program set to expire in December 1988, GSA wants to
make the post-FTS awards by spring of 1997. That would allow time for new services to be
phased in for all the old FTS networks' traffic.

The draft RFP breaks down the four categories as follows:

GSA also plans to award at least two contracts for technical and management support. It
might award additional technical and management support contracts for specific areas such
as engineering and analysis, operations and maintenance, and customer support.

Comments on the draft RFP will be received until Oct. 10. They must be submitted in
Microsoft Word 6.0 on 3 1/2 -inch diskettes to GSA, c/o Mitre Corp., 7525 Colshire Drive,
MS Z397, McLean, Va. 22102; Attention Barbara Norsworthy.

The Interagency Management Council of senior agency advisers to GSA will hold an Oct.
31-Nov. 2 forum in Washington to hear public comments on the wide-ranging RFP. In early
October, GSA and the Small Business Administration will hold meetings in Long Beach,
Calif., and Washington about small-business contracting opportunities.

For more information on the draft RFP, visit the Internet Web page at 

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