Networx: An agent of change
In unveiling the extensive Networx telecommunications contracts, the General Services Administration recently ushered in a new era with far-reaching implications for the security and prosperity of the nation, and for the transformation of how government agencies accomplish their missions.
GSA’s Networx Universal and Enterprise Program, through which GSA will meet the federal government’s enormous telecommunications needs, will provide continuity for the critical communications infrastructure that underlies government operations in virtually all agencies, and will provide the latest in telecommunications products and services at the best available commercial prices.
In plain English, government will be able to change and improve how it serves the citizen and other constituents. Using Networx will:
- Enable the Social Security Administration to answer more questions about monthly benefits, and do it more effectively and efficiently;
- Improve the speed and accuracy of National Weather Service’s forecasts; thus saving lives in the paths of dangerous storms;
- Enhance the Department of Homeland Security’s ability to communicate more quickly and completely among its own functional elements and with state and local counterparts to better protect our homeland, and to provide the real time information first responders need to protect lives and property;
- And increase NASA’s contributions to scientific discovery and education through reduced costs and improved speed and quality of video and data transmissions from space.
As agencies take advantage of the interoperability enabled by Networx, they will also use the program to transition to Internet Protocol Version 6 (IPv6). IPv6 will allow agencies to connect countless devices to their networks, enable these new connections with encrypted security, and thereby allow agencies to realize new and more horizontal ways to conduct intra-agency and cross-agency operations. Networx, as the catalyst for these changes, is being talked about in many circles, within and external to government, as a truly transformational set of capabilities.
Moreover, Networx offerings such as Managed Services will enable each agency to better manage their network and all of its diverse devices. Networx products and services will make communications for each agency and across government more secure and more efficient, and will allow for more effective services to be delivered to the American people.
Agencies have only to describe their future needs and go through the fair opportunity process to obtain access to some of the world’s finest telecommunications companies. GSA and the Federal Acquisition Service will be right there if any agency needs our help in their transition to Networx. And through the life of the contract we will work diligently to ensure the products and services of Networx stay up to date and continue to be offered at great prices.
As agencies make greater use of Networx, the unit prices will decrease. Networx truly leverages the government’s formidable buying power to the benefit of all Networx customers and to the taxpayers, providing great value to all agencies that use this program as a strategic source.
Networx builds on the highly successful FTS2001 program with its 135 customer agencies in over 110 countries, but Networx is unique in the history of telecommunications with its comprehensive set of IP-based services and products that will meet the demands of the future through its new security requirements, its management and application services, and its contract flexibilities that allow continuous refreshment with new products and services.
I am enormously pleased and proud of the Networx program. While Networx offers transformational capabilities to all of its millions of users around the world, it also returns GSA to its core mission: providing high quality workspace, products, services and solutions to the government at best value.
That’s right where we want to be.
Lurita A. Doan, administrator of the General Services Administration.