Telecom

Windstream drops EIS protest

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Windstream Communications on May 24 formally withdrew its pre-award protest of the General Services Administration's 15-year, $50 billion contract for 21st-century telecommunications, freeing the agency to move forward with an award.

Windstream protested the massive next-generation Enterprise Infrastructure Solutions telecommunications contract in April, telling the Government Accountability Office it had been eliminated from the competitive range.

The protest blocked GSA's ability to award the next-generation replacement for its aging Networx telecommunications contract.

GSA had never set an official award date for EIS, and officials have said they intended to award the contract in late spring. Some contractors familiar with EIS have said privately that the agency would award closer to early summer, with early June being the most likely timeframe.

Ten companies have lined up for the contract, including traditional telecom companies AT&T, BT, CenturyLink, Frontier Communications and Verizon, and less traditional providers Core Technologies, Hughes, Level 3 Communications, MetTel and Windstream.

GSA and Windstream spokespeople acknowledged to FCW that the protest had been withdrawn. GSA declined further comment, citing its policy not to talk about active procurements. Windstream officials also declined further comment.

Little Rock, Ark.-based Windstream provides network and data services, cloud connections, managed network security, colocation and unified communications for a variety of markets, including the federal government.

The company has been building capabilities through acquisitions. It bought EarthLink in a $1.1 billion deal in November and purchased Broadview Networks in April for $227.5 million.

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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