GSA: Agencies will pay for late telecom switch

General Services Administration officials warned that agencies that are late in transitioning to the new FTS 2001 long-distance network will have to pay the government's excess costs of providing duplicative telecommunications services to FTS 2001 users and to those who have not completed the transition.

Anita Naylor, head of GSA's FTS 2001 transition team, said the government may face "significant" extra costs to provide agencies access to the existing FTS 2000 bridge contracts at the same time it is providing access to the next-generation FTS 2001 network. If some agencies require access to the old network after other agencies have already moved to FTS 2001, those who have not moved quickly will be penalized, she said.

"GSA will bill those agencies for the cost of duplicated service," Naylor said last week at a panel discussion at the GovTechNet International Conference and Exposition, Washington, D.C.

Frank Lalley, assistant commissioner for service delivery at GSA's Federal Technology Service, said user fees collected by GSA from all of the agencies that will use FTS 2001 pay for "common costs of transition." But he said GSA will not apply these funds to offer duplicative telecommunications service to agencies that have failed to make the transition as quickly as their peers.

"If there is a single agency that is hanging out there [on the old FTS 2000 network], it's not fair to charge everybody for that," Lalley said.

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