Motor City signs dotted line for telecom service

Motor City signs dotted line for telecom service

The General Services Administration has opened the third phase of its Metropolitan Area Acquisition program by awarding local telecommunications contracts for Detroit to SBC Global Services Inc. of San Antonio and Winstar Communications Inc. of New York.

The estimated $23 million value of the eight-year contracts represents savings of up to 19 percent over current government prices.

The contracts include standard voice, switched data and dedicated transmission service plus new services as they become available.

Detroit is the 23rd MAA market for GSA's Federal Technology Service. FTS has requested proposals for Kansas City, Kan.; Kansas City, Mo.; Norfolk, Va.; Oklahoma City; Salt Lake City; and Seattle.

Joining the club

Agency adoption has been slow for the first MAA competitive contracts, awarded in May 1999 for New York, Chicago and San Francisco. The pace has picked up in recent months, however, said Tom Howder, director of the FTS Office of Regional Services.

'Since June, we have transitioned almost 32,000 end users,' Howder said.

Cutover is complete in Buffalo, Cincinnati, Minneapolis and St. Louis, as well as in the nation's capital under the Washington Interagency Telecommunications Service 2001 contract.

Denver is nearing completion, and San Francisco is about two-thirds finished, Howder said.

In Philadelphia, where contracts were awarded in February, about a quarter of federal users have moved.

Progress in New York, slowed initially by ownership disputes over telecommunications facilities in buildings, has been further delayed by terrorist attacks, Howder said.

'The events of Sept. 11 greatly impacted the MAA, because we are doing a lot of restoration work,' he said.

About the Author

William Jackson is a Maryland-based freelance writer.

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