Networx RFI hits the street

The much-anticipated request for information for FTS Networx, the next-generation telecommunications contract from the General Services Administration's Federal Technology Service, was released Oct. 17 on FedBizOpps.gov.

FTS Networx is the replacement for FTS2001, the GSA long-distance telecommunications contract held by Sprint Corp. and WorldCom Inc. FTS2001 will expire in December 2006.

Networx also will cover the federal wireless contract that expires in fall 2005, and a satellite services contract that ends in 2006, said John Johnson, assistant commissioner of the FTS office of service development.

The RFI proposes two phases for the Networx contract. The first, Networx Universal, will be a multiple-award deal for a full range of nationwide and international services, providing to all government locations plus all commercial locations where the vendors offer service.

'Because of the requirements for geographic ubiquity, [there will be] limited awards' under Networx Universal, Johnson said.

The second phase, Networx Select, is a multiple-award vehicle for vendors that are geographically limited, have specific service or product niches or small companies, minority-owned or 8(a) companies, Johnson said. Far more awards are anticipated under Networx Select, he said.

While many details have yet to be finalized, the RFI proposes minimum revenue guarantees in Networx, Johnson said. Under FTS2001, Sprint and WorldCom each were guaranteed a minimum revenue of $750 million.

FTS is soliciting comments on the RFI from both customer agencies and industry, Johnson said. The response deadline is 30 days.

The draft request for proposal for Networx Universal is scheduled for release in early 2004, Johnson said, with the final RFP due in mid-2004, and the award about nine months later. Networx Select's RFP is set for late 2005, with award in mid-2006, he said.

Patience Wait writes for Washington Technology magazine.


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