Qwest doesn't join DREN protests

Qwest Communications International Inc. has decided not to protest the Defense Department contract for a high-speed network for researchers.

A company spokesman confirmed the company's decision April 23.

Quest's move is somewhat of a surprise given that the three other unsuccessful bidders — Sprint, Global Crossing Ltd. and AT&T — have protested the Defense Information Systems Agency's April 4 award to WorldCom Inc.

DISA has put work on the Defense Research and Engineering Network (DREN) on hold pending the General Accounting Office's determination on the protests.

The $450 million DREN is to be a high-speed network for defense laboratories and researchers across the country.

After a start-and-stop history, DISA finally awarded the contract this month.

Global Crossing won the original DREN award last year. But DISA retracted that decision after unsuccessful bidders protested the decision, contesting that Global Crossing could not meet the contract's security requirements.

In January, DISA was set to award the reissued bid to Global again, but that announcement was delayed. Just days later, Global Crossing filed for bankruptcy protection. DISA was then scheduled to make an award last month but delayed again in the wake of Global Crossing's ongoing financial woes.

About the Author

Christopher J. Dorobek is the co-anchor of Federal News Radio’s afternoon drive program, The Daily Debrief with Chris Dorobek and Amy Morris, and the founder, publisher and editor of the DorobekInsider.com, a leading blog for the Federal IT community.

Dorobek joined Federal News Radio in 2008 with 16 years of experience covering government issues with an emphasis on government information technology. Prior to joining Federal News Radio, Dorobek was editor-in-chief of Federal Computer Week, the leading news magazine for government IT decision-makers and the flagship of the 1105 Government Information Group portfolio of publications. As editor-in-chief, Dorobek served as a member of the senior leadership team at 1105 Government Information Group, providing daily editorial direction and management for FCW magazine, FCW.com, Government Health IT and its other editorial products.

Dorobek joined FCW in 2001 as a senior reporter and assumed increasing responsibilities, becoming managing editor and executive editor before being named editor-in-chief in 2006. Prior to joining FCW, Dorobek was a technology reporter at PlanetGov.com, one of the first online community centers for current and former government employees. He also spent five years at Government Computer News, another leading industry publication, covering a variety of federal IT-related issues.

Dorobek is a frequent speaker on issues involving the government IT industry, and has appeared as a frequent contributor to NewsChannel 8’s Federal News Today program. He began his career as a reporter at the Foster’s Daily Democrat, a daily newspaper in Dover, N.H. He is a graduate of the University of Southern California. He lives in Washington, DC.


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