FEDWIRE

House may fund next Net separately The House passed last week three authorization bills that did not include funds for the Next Generation Internet (NGI) a Clinton administration initiative that would create a network 1 000 times faster than today's Internet. But the House may still fund the $100 million project.

Funds for the NGI were not included in authorization bills for NASA the National Institute of Standards and Technology and the National Science Foundation three of five agencies that the White House had earmarked to receive funds to conduct research on the NGI. The president's fiscal 1998 budget request also included NGI funding in the Education Department and the Defense Department budgets. Energy's authorization bill which awaits a full House vote also does not include NGI funding.

Staffers on the House Committee on Science which wrote the authorization bills for all the agencies except DOD said committee members plan a separate authorization bill for the project.ZDS AF continue Desktop V talksWith only a few days before the deadline the Air Force has yet to inform Zenith Data Systems Corp. as to whether it will exercise the first of two one-year options on its suspended Desktop V contract.

Jim Shea vice president and general manager of ZDS said the company has yet to receive a letter from the Air Force informing the company of its intent to exercise the contract option. Typically such a letter would be received 60 days before a contract extension. He said however that ZDS remains optimistic and has been "working an awful lot toward that [extension]." ZDS' pact comes up for renewal May 2.

ZDS and its parent company Packard Bell-NEC "are extremely interested in working with the Air Force to modernize the contract and make it the most effective indefinite-delivery indefinite-quantity contract available."

The Air Force's Standard Systems Group suspended ordering on ZDS' Desktop V pact April 1. A spokesman for SSG said last Friday that there had been no change in the contract's status. "As it stands right now there has been no change " he said.

NSF stops managing Internet addressesThe National Science Foundation last week bowed out of managing Internet domain names which feature tags such as .gov and .com when it chose not to renew an agreement with the private company that registers Internet addresses.

NSF announced that it would not renew its contract with Network Solutions Inc. because the Internet is no longer primarily a medium for exchanging information among computer networks in the scientific community which was the original reason for the agency's involvement. "NSF is confident the Internet community and others will eventually develop mechanisms to handle Internet registration without NSF's involvement " according to a statement from the agency.vFTS 2001 solicitation due this weekThe repeatedly delayed request for proposals for the next-generation federal long-distance network may be released later this week. Bob Woods commissioner of the General Services Administration's Federal Telecommunications Service will hold a press conference this Thursday May 1 to discuss the FTS 2001 solicitation scheduled for release the next day.

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