Contracts keep training on the air
- By L. Scott Tillett, L. Scott Tillett
- Feb 06, 2000
The General Services Administration last week finalized contracts that will
give agencies access to as much as $1.18 billion in satellite communication
services over the next six years a relief for agencies that want to use
telecommunications to train employees scattered across the nation.
The contracts which any federal agency can tap to buy satellite voice,
video and data service offer agencies technology services that are not
available on GSA's FTS 2001 contract, the government's primary long-distance
telecom contract, which Sprint and MCI WorldCom hold.
The contracts should present improved access to distance-learning services,
said April Ramey, director of GSA's Innovation Center. Distance learning
encompasses technologies that range from videoconferencing to interactive
software that enable instructors to educate workers in another location.
Ramey said the new contracts emerged largely as a result of the needs
of agencies that conduct distance learning groups such as the Government
Alliance for Training and Education (www. fgdla.org/gate.htm). "We wanted
to provide a place or a vehicle for them to go," she said, because satellite
communications are "not core services" of Sprint and MCI on the FTS 2001
Under FTS 2000 and the bridge contract to FTS 2001, AT&T through
subcontractor Spacenet Inc. has been providing agencies with satellite
connectivity for distance learning and other applications. On the new batch
of GSA contracts, Spacenet reappears as a subcontractor to Electronic Data
Systems Corp., one EDS insider s
Hughes Global Services' pact has the largest ceiling $490 million.
Other winners include COLSA Corp. ($150 million); Communications Satellite
Corp. ($60 million); EDS ($250 million); John Tidrow & Associates Inc.
($50 million); Marshall Associates Inc. ($60 million); and Motorola Worldwide
Information Network Services ($120 million).