Telecom

Interior making plans in case EIS falls short

A remote cabin at the Bering Land Bridge National Preserve 

A remote cabin at the Bering Land Bridge National Preserve

The Department of Interior apparently is concerned that the General Services Administration's Enterprise Infrastructure Services contract might not be able to serve all the phone line needs of its far-flung operations.

Awards in the $50 billion EIS contract are expected this spring.

Currently, Interior uses Networx, the National Capital Region Washington Intra-agency Telecommunications (WITS 3) and GSA Regional Services Local Services Agreement contracts to provide phone services to its various agencies, including the Bureau of Indian Affairs, National Park Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the U.S. Geological Survey.

"A primary concern to DOI is the fact that GSA EIS contract holders may not have the capability to provide coverage nationwide to every location where DOI has voice communication services," Interior stated in a new sources sought notice.

Interior uses 929 Core-Based Statistical Areas to define the coverage area units where it needs phone service.

"GSA may award EIS contracts to vendors who provide services to only 25 of the top 100 CBSAs," the department says.

In its RFI, Interior is looking for industry input on vendor capabilities, interest and general suggestions on who voice services can be provided to all Interior locations, including remote locations.

Many of Interior's offices are small; 80 percent of employees work in locations with less than 25 employees. It has 52,000 service instances in areas outside the top 100 Core-Based Statistical Areas.

The results of the RFI could mean Interior would develop some sort of contract specific to its needs. Its not clear if that would be something that would be part of EIS or something separate.

Questions on the RFI are due Feb. 9 and responses are due Feb. 27.

A version of this article first appeared in FCW's sibling publication Washington Technology

About the Author

Nick Wakeman is the editor-in-chief of Washington Technology. Follow him on Twitter: @nick_wakeman.

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