Treasury, GSA agree on FTS cutover plans

The Treasury Department and General Services Administration last
week reached a broad accord on when and how Treasury users will shift to AT&T Corp.'s
portion of the governmentwide FTS 2000 network.


Sandra Bates, assistant commissioner for service delivery in GSA's Federal
Telecommunications Service, said Treasury has agreed to move all its dedicated and
consolidated locations using FTS 2000 switched voice services from Sprint Corp.'s Network
B to AT&T's Network A by the end of next month.


IRS, possibly Sprint's largest FTS 2000 customer, will change its toll-free 800 service
from Network B to Network A "by Nov. 1 or hopefully sooner," Bates said.


The accord came last week during the Network A Users Forum in Orlando, Fla., after
considerable contention. AT&T had been rewarded with all of Treasury's FTS 2000
business after underbidding Sprint in GSA's final price shootout last year.


Sprint has protested to the General Accounting Office that GSA mishandled the shootout GCN,
April 15, Page 4]. If GSA is upheld, Sprint's share of FTS 2000 business will drop from 30
percent to 24 percent, while AT&T's share goes up to 76 percent. The program ends in
December 1998.


"Sprint has provided Treasury with excellent service, so some people initially
were reluctant to accept the change to Network A," Bates said. "But I'm pretty
optimistic. I think we're on track" for the transition.


Bates said Treasury officials also have agreed that within the next few weeks AT&T
will complete a site survey of all Treasury locations to be served by Network A.
"This is quite an effort, and it's coming along very well," Bates said.


GSA also has worked out Network A billing issues with Treasury, and Treasury employees
have been trained in to how to order and track services from AT&T, she said.


Another agreement appears to have been reached on Treasury's wide area Consolidated
Data Network (CDN), which is being upgraded under a contract awarded last year to TRW Inc.
Bates said GSA and Treasury now have agreed on a pilot effort over the next two months to
resolve CDN-to-FTS 2000 transition issues.


Less traffic on Network B could mean higher FTS 2000 prices for agencies that remain
with Sprint. But Bates said FTS commissioner Robert J. Woods has assured Network B
customers that he intends to minimize any price fallout from the shift of Treasury's
business.


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