Telecom

GSA warns agencies that telecom transition is coming fast

hollow core fiber

A deadline almost four years in the future could prove to be challenging if federal agencies don't get to work now.

Agencies "need to have a sense of urgency" in planning their moves to the General Services Administration's $50 billion, 15-year Enterprise Infrastructure Solutions contract, said Amando Gavino, director of the agency's Office of Network Services Programs, during a meeting with potential vendors and federal users last month.

Agencies must submit their transition plans to GSA in October and complete their transitions to EIS before the current Networx and regional telecommunications contracts expire in May 2020, he added.

GSA officials have said they plan to award the massive EIS contract in October, and for months, Gavino has been urging agencies to start planning how they will move their network services to EIS.

In a June 30 blog post, he described a meeting with potential vendors and users of the upcoming EIS contract. The June 22 meeting was open to the press on the condition that the proceedings be considered off the record; Gavino's post is the first public record of the discussion.

For the EIS contract to be successful and effective, every agency must accurately inventory its telecom services and include everything from traditional long-distance services to fully redundant, mission-critical virtual private networks.

"More than 7 million inventory items across 90 regional and eight Networx contracts must move," he added.

During the meeting, GSA officials also released a handbook that outlines the process for managing transitions to EIS.

Gavino said agencies in the throes of planning their shift to the upcoming contract should think of it as a key goal and take advantage of the opportunity to transform, rather than simply adapt, their capabilities.

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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