DOD starts over on contested telecom contract

DOD starts over on contested telecom contract

The Defense Department on Tuesday reissued a request for proposals from five telecommunications companies to add fiber-optic services to the Defense Research and Engineering Network.

Last month, the Defense Information Systems Agency, which oversees DREN, abruptly cancelled a $400 million contract won by Global Crossing Ltd. of Bermuda to perform the work. The cancellation followed protests from several of the losing bidders, who complained to the General Accounting Office that the process was flawed and unfair.

The DREN contract has a three-year base with seven option years. It will connect more than 6,000 scientists and engineers throughout the United States, Puerto Rico, Guam and other U.S. territories. The project will link Defense laboratories, test centers, universities and industry sites on a single, contiguous-fiber network with IP and asynchronous transfer mode transmission for video, audio and data.

The five companies bidding on the contract are AT&T Corp., Global Crossing Ltd., Qwest Communications International Inc. of Denver, Sprint Corp. and WorldCom Inc.

The closing date for the RFPs is Oct. 23. DISA officials were unsure when the contract will be awarded.

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