Bell Atlantic, AT&T win GSA telecommunications contract

The General Services Administration awarded Bell Atlantic Corp. and AT&T

contracts to offer federal agencies local-access telecommunications service

in the Buffalo, N.Y., area.

The business, awarded late last week, is worth

about $40 million over eight years. The contracts cover standard voice and

switched data service.

Bell Atlantic already provides local service to agencies in the Buffalo

area. But AT&T now can win some or all of that business because agencies

can choose between AT&T and Bell Atlantic.

Long-distance powerhouse AT&T

already has established itself as a force for offering local phone service

to federal agencies. In May, the company won similar GSA contracts to offer

local service in New York City, Chicago and San Francisco. Those contracts

are worth more than $680 million.

With Buffalo, the prices GSA negotiated

could save the federal government as much as $8.3 million, according to

agency officials.

"We believe that our success benefits the American taxpayer twofold:

once by the direct savings achieved and again by stimulating the development

of viable competition in the industry," GSA Administrator David J. Barram

said.

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