Sprint protests contract award

Sprint is protesting the award of a Justice Department networking contract to rival AT&T, according to a Sprint spokesman.

Justice officials quietly awarded the contract for the Justice Unified Telecommunications Network (JUTNet) to AT&T last month, without announcing that the award had been made, according to industry sources. The plan for JUTNet — a voice, data and image network — is for the prime contractor to hire a second contractor, and for the second contractor to design a back-up network.

Justice needs "a network that would not only be unified, but also have built into it the security we would need," said chief information officer Vance Hitch in a presentation last month.

Sprint filed its protest of the award on March 24, said company spokesman Steve Lunceford, although he would not say what the company is protesting. Justice this week filed a motion to dismiss the protest and the General Accounting Office will probably rule on the motion by the end of the week, he said.

Justice officials could not be reached for comment. An AT&T spokesman declined to comment.

Warren Suss, president of Suss Consulting Inc., said he has been told the Sprint protest is based on "what Sprint considers inappropriate use of custom design document process." The process, he said, is a mechanism commonly used to award contracts under the FTS 2001 contract, and to add unique elements to those that the contract vehicle already provides for.

Suss considers the JUTNet project to be "extremely ambitious."

"It sets a high water mark for nondefense agencies in terms of secure reliable communications," he said. "It may up the bar for other agencies."

The contract win is significant for AT&T, Suss added.

"It reflects the new aggressiveness of AT&T," he said. "It appears AT&T has had the handcuffs taken off by corporate, at least in terms of pricing. AT&T's back and they're coming on strong."


  • 2018 Fed 100

    The 2018 Federal 100

    This year's Fed 100 winners show just how much committed and talented individuals can accomplish in federal IT. Read their profiles to learn more!

  • Census
    How tech can save money for 2020 census

    Trump campaign taps census question as a fund-raising tool

    A fundraising email for the Trump-Pence reelection campaign is trying to get supporters behind a controversial change to the census -- asking respondents whether or not they are U.S. citizens.

  • Cloud
    DOD cloud

    DOD's latest cloud moves leave plenty of questions

    Speculation is still swirling about the implications of the draft solicitation for JEDI -- and about why a separate agreement for cloud-migration services was scaled back so dramatically.

Stay Connected

FCW Update

Sign up for our newsletter.

I agree to this site's Privacy Policy.