Sprint nearing FTS 2001 finish line

Sprint expects to complete the last leg of switching federal agencies to the FTS 2001 contract by April, two months ahead of the extended deadline set by the General Services Administration, company officials said Tuesday.

Sprint is 95 percent complete in switching federal customers from the FTS 2000 telecommunication services to the new FTS 2001 contract, said Tony D'Agata, vice president of Sprint Government Systems Division, at the Comnet 2001 Conference and Exposition.

Portions such as switched voice and dedicated transmission services are 97 percent complete, he said.

Both Sprint and WorldCom Inc. were supposed to complete the transition by December 2000, but delays from the Year 2000 rollover and agencies' slow start making orders put the transition behind. GSA reached agreements with FTS 2000 vendors Sprint and AT&T to extend the existing services until June 6, 2001, and Dec. 6, 2001, respectively.

WorldCom officials said in mid-January that their company was about 85 percent done with the transition.

D'Agata said one difficulty in making the transition at each agency site is that the incumbent, local carrier and service provider must be present to make the switch.

Sprint has begun concentrating on offerings that can be added to the FTS 2001 menu, such as managed network services, managed security services and Web hosting, a Sprint spokesman said. The new services are intended to help agencies meet their electronic government goals, he said.

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