Maryland buys blanket connectivity services

Maryland buys blanket connectivity services

Maryland's Department of Budget and Management has awarded a blanket contract to WorldCom Inc. and Qwest Communications International Inc. of Denver to provide Internet access, Web hosting, and data and telecommunications services to all state agencies.

The two-year, $4 million contract includes three one-year options.

State agencies until now have individually procured their Internet access and related services, but officials hope the aggregate buy will reduce costs. When individual contracts expire, the agencies can pick up services from the blanket contract. It also will be open to local jurisdictions.

WorldCom will provide services to three of Maryland's four local access and transport areas, which include the Salisbury, Hagerstown and Washington metropolitan areas. Qwest will serve the Baltimore metro area. Seven bidders submitted proposals for one or all of the areas.

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