Contracting

Who won what in EIS

Shutterstock image: illuminated connections between devices. 

The General Services Administration named 10 prime contractors on its long-awaited $50 billion telecom contract on Aug. 1.

The real winners and losers on the deal, though, will play out in the task orders, which will span every federal agency in every region of the country and include just about every conceivable type of communications service.

Now GSA has released the details of which vendor are eligible to compete for task orders in various categories and locales.

That data will help agencies plan their transitions to the new vehicle and let contractors know who they're up against when it comes to service delivery.

The newly released information includes coverage details for the 932 Core Based Statistical Areas in the U.S. for circuit-switched voice services, Internet Protocol voice services, and a dozen optional services including mobile and cloud services. The data indicates which companies are primary providers for services in each CBSA.

GSA required all EIS participants to bid on the top 25 CBSAs in order to qualify for the contract. Those areas include the major metropolitan areas in the United States. GSA's maps for the EIS contract show the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area as the number one CBSA.

John Okay, executive consultant at Topside Consulting Group, said the data is a starting point for agencies to begin comparing what each provider offers under EIS in each CBSA where the agencies have facilities.

Each agency, he said, will need to peruse the tables according to their needs, locations and plans for the future.

"Many agencies using TDM circuit switched services," he said, "would want to look in the Circuit Switched Voice Services table." Other agencies that may have more advanced telecommunications capabilities might want to start in the Internet Protocol Voice Services table, he suggested.

The data are more complex than the service matrices for past federal telecommunications contracts such as Networx, because EIS offers more options and greater competition.

Under Networx, agencies chose among five carriers. For EIS, GSA named 10 providers who cover the top 25 CBSA, and there are multiple providers in each of the 932 areas served.

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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