AT&T gets equal status as an FTS 2001 provider at DISA

The Defense Information Systems Agency, the military's communications services provider, has made AT&T Corp. an equal partner under the FTS 2001 telecom program.

DISA director Air Force Lt. Gen. Harry D. Raduege Jr. announced the change in a Dec. 13 letter to the General Services Administration.

'DISA is changing its approach to ordering FTS 2001 for its customers as a result of AT&T becoming an FTS 2001 provider,' the general wrote. Services had been divided between Sprint Corp. and WorldCom Inc. 'We will grant all partners equal provider status. As of 1 January, DISA's customers will be allowed to use Sprint, WorldCom or AT&T to meet their FTS 2001 telecommunications needs.'

AT&T lost a major long-distance telecom contract when Sprint and WorldCom were awarded contracts under the multi-billion dollar FTS 2001 program. It got its corporate foot back in the door when it was awarded contracts for local phone service in New York, Chicago and San Francisco in the Metropolitan Area Acquisition program. It subsequently received a contract modification allowing it to compete in the FTS 2001 program.

WorldCom spokeswoman Natasha Haubold played down the significance of DISA's move.

'It doesn't have any monetary effect on us,' she said. Many government customers are contracting with multiple service providers to get redundancy in their communications. 'We are also getting additional business for the same reason,' she said. 'They are looking for diversity.'

About the Author

William Jackson is a Maryland-based freelance writer.

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