Procurement

GSA claims big savings from Networx

Telecom networks abstract

The program manager for GSA's primary telecommunications contracting vehicle is claiming a savings of $678 million in fiscal 2013.

In a Nov. 20 post on the General Services Administration website, Bill Lewis, the Federal Acquisition Service Integrated Technology Service's Networx program manager, said the government saved an average of 35 percent off regular prices by using Networx contracting vehicles that consolidate purchases and leverage the combined buying power of federal agencies.

The multiple-award Networx contracting vehicles -- Networx Universal and Networx Enterprise -- are used to buy all manner of telecommunications services, from toll-free numbers to complex agency-wide networks for voice, data and video services. Lewis said Networx contracts support the government's ability to conduct day-to-day operations, provide access for citizen services and continue operations during emergencies.

In 2013 federal agencies bought more than $1.3 billion in services through Networx from suppliers such as AT&T, CenturyLink, Level 3, Sprint and Verizon, Lewis said. Since 2007, government use of telecom and network services has increased 800 percent. Yet because of Networx, he boasted, the total cost for all those services has increased only 43 percent.

GSA is now developing the Network Service 2020, or NS 2020, strategy that it will use to refine plans for the next generation of telecommunications and IT infrastructure portfolio.

The timeline for NS 2020 isn't explicit on when it will be adopted and implemented, however. The GSA website said the agency would begin to conduct acquisition activities, system and support service enhancements in "2013+" and begin realizing cost savings in "2014+."

About the Author

Mark Rockwell is a senior staff writer at FCW, whose beat focuses on acquisition, the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Energy.

Before joining FCW, Rockwell was Washington correspondent for Government Security News, where he covered all aspects of homeland security from IT to detection dogs and border security. Over the last 25 years in Washington as a reporter, editor and correspondent, he has covered an increasingly wide array of high-tech issues for publications like Communications Week, Internet Week, Fiber Optics News, tele.com magazine and Wireless Week.

Rockwell received a Jesse H. Neal Award for his work covering telecommunications issues, and is a graduate of James Madison University.

Click here for previous articles by Rockwell. Contact him at mrockwell@fcw.com or follow him on Twitter at @MRockwell4.


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