IRS awards call center support

AT&T Government Solutions will provide toll-free service to the Internal Revenue Service under a new contract worth up to $180 million over five years, AT&T said March 11.

The toll-free service supports an IRS call center that handles 130 million calls annually, said sales center vice president Bob Jones. AT&T does not operate the call center.

The contract extends an older contract that AT&T Government Solutions already held. It also is one of the larger deals that AT&T has negotiated using its new place on the FTS 2001 contract vehicle.

"It's a significant win for AT&T Government Services, certainly in the top five," Jones said.

AT&T used a "crossover" provision to join WorldCom Inc. and Sprint last year as long-distance vendors on the General Services Administration's FTS 2001 contract vehicle.

Sprint retains all voice and video business for the IRS, said Sprint spokesman Steve Lunceford. Sprint bills the IRS about $20 million per year under FTS 2001 for the services, he said.

FTS 2001 is the chief contract instrument GSA uses to market long-distance voice and data systems. Officials are beginning work on a successor to the contract, which expires in 2006.

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