Telecommunications

GSA details Networx sunset

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The General Services Administration detailed its process for closing off the use of legacy telecommunications contracts as part of the push to move agencies to the $50 billion, 15-year Enterprise Infrastructure Solutions (EIS) contract.

The agency released its Project Plan for Closeout of Transition to EIS, the blueprint the agency is using to move federal agencies over from its legacy Networx and WITS 3 telecommunications contract in the latest June 17 EIS bulletin.

GSA officials have been saying the agency will limit the use of legacy telecommunications contracts as the deadline to transition to EIS looms in September 2022 and the legacy contracts expire in 2023.

New guidance provides granular details on the two-pronged approach GSA is taking.

Broadly, the plan will both limit the use of Networx, WITS 3 and local service agreements to agencies making transition progress, as well as choke off processing new orders and modifications for those contracts at the start of fiscal year 2021.

After limiting legacy contract use for agencies lagging behind in transition GSA said it will issue "targeted warning notices." Agencies may appeal to not to be removed from their legacy contract.

After Oct. 1, 2020, GSA said it will stop taking new agency modification requirements for Networx, WITS and the LSAs and place them on EIS.

The EIS transition process has been slower than originally anticipated. In 2018, the agency pushed its initial 2020 transition deadline to 2023. In spite of that extension, there has been criticism from industry and from Congress that the process remains hopelessly slow.

Before he left GSA to become CIO of the City of Dallas, Bill Zielinski, former assistant commissioner for the Office of Information Technology Category in GSA's Federal Acquisition Service, said he didn't expect the GSA to allow agencies any more time on the 2023 deadline.

"I don't think it's necessary and I don't expect a large broad amendment" to the deadline to give agencies more time to move their telecommunications over from old contracts.

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 [email protected] or follow him on Twitter at @MRockwell4.


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