IRS stays with AT& T telecom

AT&T announced last week that the Internal Revenue Service has decided to

renew its contract with the company for the agency's nationwide toll-free

call center.

Under the $65 million, three-year contract, AT&T will continue to run the

agency's toll-free telecom network, said John Doherty, AT&T's vice president

of government markets. The 800 number is key to the agency's customer service

year-round, but it is especially important during the busy tax season, he

said.

AT&T first took over the network in 1996 under the General Services Administration's

FTS 2000 program, which at that point was the mandatory program for most

federal long-distance services.

FTS 2001, the follow-on program, is not mandatory. So when AT&T did not receive

an FTS 2001 contract, the IRS decided to stay with AT&T and negotiate a separate

contract for the same services, rather than lose its investment in a working

system, Doherty said.

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