AT&T adds ATM and Internet services

ORLANDO, Fla.—AT&T and the General Services Administration announced several modifications to the company's portion of the FTS 2000 contract, including the addition of Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM) and Internet connectivity services.

Sandy Bates, assistant commissioner for service delivery at GSA's Federal Telecommunications Service, said at an FTS 2000 users conference here that the government and AT&T last month shook hands on four modifications: ATM, OC-3 transmission service at 155 megabit/sec, high-speed dial-up service and various packet-switched Internet connectivity options. The "handshake" agreements signify that the government and AT&T have agreed to the changes but have not worked out details.

Paul Porthouse, GSA's liaison manager at AT&T Government Markets, said the company's first federal ATM customer on FTS 2000 will be the Naval Sea Systems Command. He said NASA had originally participated in a pilot project for the service, but officials there "opted not to use the service."

AT&T's ATM offering will be a speedier version of the company's existing Enhanced Packet-Switched Service (EPSS), with initial transmission speeds of 45 megabit/sec and higher speeds in the future, Porthouse said.

He added that NASA will be the first user of AT&T's OC-3 service on FTS 2000, which will provide 155 megabit/sec transmission in a single circuit or a channelized circuit with three 52-megabit segments. He said the service will support applications such as supercomputer communications and high-definition TV.

Porthouse said Internet connectivity had been requested by FTS 2000 users in the departments of Energy, Transportation, Interior and State. The service will give users "one-stop shopping for Internet access."

The high-speed dial-up service, requested by nearly all the agencies on the AT&T network, will allow users of high-speed analog modems and Integrated Services Digital Network services to access AT&T's EPSS, Porthouse said. It will also allow users to dial 700 numbers to access the Internet for high-bandwidth applications.

An AT&T spokesman said the four services will be available around the middle of this month.

Jim Payne, assistant vice president for FTS 2000 at Sprint, said his company already offers high-speed dial-up service and is negotiating to offer combined ATM/OC-3 service and Internet connectivity later this month.

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