Industry

Verizon sells Federal Network Systems unit

Telecom networks abstract

Verizon is selling its Federal Network Systems business unit to Jacobs Engineering Group, a diverse global engineering and construction company that has interests in IT. The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Federal Networks Systems is a 750-person unit of Verizon that specializes in providing defense and intelligence community customers with IT and communications network integration and operation, consulting and data security services. Its publicly acknowledged clients include the Defense Information Systems Agency, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, NASA and the Departments of Energy and Treasury.

FNS came to Verizon as part of the merger between Bell Atlantic and GTE that created the communications giant in 2000. Its corporate roots go back to the legendary firm of Bolt, Beranek and Newman, which built the ARPANET and was instrumental in developing many innovations that allow computers to operate as nodes of a network.

The move reflects Verizon's focus on the core enterprise business it has been building with its own telecommunications offerings in wireless and broadband, and through its acquisitions of Terremark, Hughes Telematics and Cloudswitch.

"Verizon has a vibrant and growing public sector business that we've never been more committed to serving," Mike Maiorana, senior vice president of sales for Verizon Enterprise Solutions' Public Sector Division, told FCW. "The strategic services, the enterprise grade services that we're focused on to strengthen our agencies' business like global IP, cloud, security, networks, wireless, machine to machine – these are all growth and investment areas within Verizon."

For Jacobs, the deal appears mostly to be about the deep experience of FNS's approximately 750 staffers in the world of classified IT and communications. They will move to Jacobs when the deal is completed. The acquisition positions the firm to integrate classified communications systems and support into their architectural and engineering operations.

"We expect our acquisition of FNS to significantly enhance our capability in the growing Intelligence Community industry, allowing us to augment our service offerings to government clients for whom we currently provide mission critical operations, facility design, commissioning and technical services," Jacobs Group vice president Robert Norfleet said in a statement.

The deal is expected to close this summer.

About the Author

Adam Mazmanian is executive editor of FCW.

Before joining the editing team, Mazmanian was an FCW staff writer covering Congress, government-wide technology policy, health IT and the Department of Veterans Affairs. Prior to joining FCW, Mr. Mazmanian was technology correspondent for National Journal and served in a variety of editorial roles at B2B news service SmartBrief. Mazmanian started his career as an arts reporter and critic, and has contributed reviews and articles to the Washington Post, the Washington City Paper, Newsday, Architect magazine, and other publications. He was an editorial assistant and staff writer at the now-defunct New York Press and arts editor at the About.com online network in the 1990s, and was a weekly contributor of music and film reviews to the Washington Times from 2007 to 2014.

Click here for previous articles by Mazmanian. Connect with him on Twitter at @thisismaz.


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