BREAKING NEWS

GSA’s Federal Technology Service issued several amendments to the FTS 2001 request
for proposals last month in response to comments by potential bidders. Final changes to
bidder proposals were due last week.


FTS expects to issue a request for best-and-final offers by the end of the month, and
only price changes will be permitted in the final offers due Dec. 1.


The Defense Department’s ability to allocate scarce telecommunications resources
is hampered by its mismanagement of international telecom agreements, the DOD inspector
general has concluded.


In a new report, Coordination of Electromagnetic Frequency Spectrum and International
Telecommunications Agreements, the IG said that at least 89 DOD telecommunications systems
were deployed in Europe, the Pacific and Southwest Asia without the proper frequency
certification and host-nation approval.


“DOD did not periodically evaluate the validity of international
telecommunications agreements with allied nations, provide a strategy of coordinating
accountability of international telecommunications agreements throughout the
communications management community, or ensure that the unified commands and Defense
Information Systems Agency complied with existing policies and guidelines governing
international telecommunications agreements,” last month’s report said.


The department’s negligence in this area would impair its use of communications
systems to support a two-region conflict scenario, the IG said.


The Next Generation Internet will receive $108 million in fiscal 1999 funds for
advanced applications for high-speed networks, said William F. Decker, program director
for the National Science Foundation’s Advanced Network Infrastructure, at a
Washington conference last week.


The Defense Department is the largest single recipient of research funding at $40
million, followed by the Energy Department with $23 million. Also funded are projects at
NASA, the National Institute of Standards and Technology, and the National Institutes of
Health. NSF will distribute $25 million in NGI grants.


The primary NGI test bed is NSF’s very high-performance Backbone Network Service,
run by MCI Communications Corp.


Meanwhile, the University Corp. for Advanced Internet Design is bringing online the
Abilene Project, a 2.4-Gbps IP over Synchronous Optical Network backbone for the Internet
2.


Computer users never stop learning, and Micron Electronics Inc. is now giving away
courses with its new PCs.


The Micron University on-disk tutorials, online instructor-led courses and software
libraries cover topics ranging from object-oriented programming to Microsoft Windows NT
administration.


The on-disk tutorials are free; agencies can receive separate or block passwords for
the online courses. Current Micron users must pay $59.95 for annual subscriptions and
renewals.


Micron of Nampa, Idaho, also is revamping its Web ordering site at http://www.micron.com for built-to-order PCs, servers and
notebook computers. Federal blanket purchasing agreements will get their own Web pages.


Contact Micron Electronics at 800-209-9686.


IMPAC credit card users bought $245 million in information technology products and
services in fiscal 1998, according to General Services Administration figures.


A review of the government’s product/service code for computer-related merchant
categories showed that total, said Mark Amtower, president of Amtower and Co. Federal
Direct Marketing of Ashton, Md.


The figure included $94 million in software and $82 million in computer and peripheral
buys, Amtower said. The category also included networking, maintenance, programming and
repairs sales. The top category was direct marketing at more than $700 million.


IT products and services also were part of four product/service codes related to office
supplies and direct marketing, but GSA did not break out IT sales for those codes, said
Amtower, who maintains a database on 110,000 card holders.


Novell Inc. is splitting up its BorderManager security suite. If sites already use
other vendors’ firewall or virtual private network products, Novell will sell any of
the four suite components separately, each complete with run-time versions of NetWare 4.11
and 5.0 plus 60-day free trial licenses for the other components.


Product marketing manager Rob Steele would not give the prices of the individual
pieces, which will be available next month. They work through Novell Directory Services on
any network server that has a minimum 64M of RAM and 1G of free storage and runs NetWare,
Unix or Microsoft Windows NT.


The BorderManager Enterprise Edition 3 components consist of FastCache Services 3,
Firewall Services 3, VPN Services 3 and Authentication Service.


More information appears on the Web at http://www.novell.com/bordermanager.


Contact Novell at 888-321-4272.


Intergraph Computer Systems will price its 400-MHz quad-processor Pentium II Xeon
server from $7,444 on General Services Administration Information Technology Schedule
contracts, beginning this month.


The InterServ 9000 symmetric multiprocessing server runs Microsoft Windows NT and
accepts up to 4G of memory and up to 2.2 terabytes of external RAID storage.


Thomas G. Baybrook, vice president of Intergraph’s federal operation in Reston,
Va., a division of Intergraph Corp. of Huntsville, Ala., said the federal group won a
contract last year to supply servers for all of the Navy’s shipyards and hopes to do
as well with the new Xeon servers.


Contact Intergraph Computer Systems at 800-763-0242.


The government’s reinvention teams have renovated their Web sites to update them
with more frequent reinvention success stories.


There is a new online magazine, Access America Online Magazine, posted on the
administration’s electronic government site at http://www.accessamerica.gov.
  The magazine features weekly stories about how agencies are using information
technology to deliver services better, faster and cheaper.


The Government Information Technology Services Board, Chief Information Officers
Council, National Partnership for Reinventing Government and Federal Communicators Network
provide content and maintain the online publication.


NPRG has also updated the home page for its site at http://www.npr.gov.
  The page now has the appearance of a newsletter, highlights the organization’s
work and has links to other sites.


—William Jackson, Gregory Slabodkin, Susan M. Menke, Bill Murray, 
Florence Olsen and Christopher J. Dorobek. 



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