Networx work continues

Sandy Bates, commissioner of the Federal Technology Service, met with members of the staff of Rep. Thomas Davis (R.-Va.) Thursday to discuss Networx, the sweeping telecommunications contract that FTS is developing to follow FTS2001.

Although FTS, a division of the General Services Administration, doesn't plan to award Networx until 2006, the contract has caught the attention of Davis, chairman of the House Government Reform Committee. He has scheduled a committee hearing for Feb. 26 to discuss it, Bates said.

At the Thursday meeting, Bates and Congressional staff members considered some of the public comments that FTS received in response to a request for information the agency issued last fall.

Among the comments:

* The two major divisions of Networx, called Universal and Select, should go into effect at the same time. FTS plans to launch Networx Universal, for widely available offerings, first. The more limited Select will come nine months later.

* With the launch of Networx, there should be a companion contract created in the GSA schedules system for the purchase of telecom-related commodities.

"Many of the issues are not new, but they're still difficult," Bates said, speaking to a meeting of the Computer Marketing Association.

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