The Federal Aviation Administration has reached an agreement with MCI WorldCom to buy telecommunications services through the governmentwide FTS 2001 program, potentially limiting competition on its own multibilliondollar telecom procurement.
The Federal Aviation Administration has reached an agreement with MCI WorldCom
to buy telecommunications services through the governmentwide FTS 2001 program,
potentially limiting competition on its own multibillion-dollar telecom
The FAA had requested to opt out of FTS 2001 because the contract's
offerings did not meet some of the high availability requirements for air
traffic control networks. But the Transportation Department has been on
the fast track to switch the entire department to FTS 2001 and MCI WorldCom
"My concern and my focus [were on] making sure they were in the fold
for moving to FTS 2001," said George Molaski, DOT's chief information officer.
The FAA still plans to compete a separate contract, FAA Telecommunications
Infrastructure, to consolidate its telecom networks and turn over their
management to a single vendor, said Steve Dash, FAA acquisition manager
DOT and FAA officials have stressed that the two contracts are separate.
"Our business case for FTI really assumed that our administrative services
from the outset would be on an FTS contract," Dash said.
But some potential bidders on the FTI contract have expressed concern
that an FAA transition to FTS 2001 could give MCI an advantage in the FTI
competition ["FAA telecom bids in jeopardy," FCW, April 3].
"The political overlay of the FAA request caused Qwest not to engage,"
said Jim Payne, vice president of Qwest Federal Systems.
Given the scope of FTI, FTS 2001 service quality and MCI's past performance
on FAA networks, "it certainly puts MCI in a commanding position," said
a former FAA telecom director.
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