Networx: Now for the hard choices

Now that the General Services Administration awarded two major telecommunications contracts, including Networx Enterprise this past week, federal agencies will have to make hard choices. It won’t be like choosing between vanilla or chocolate ice cream. It will be more like choosing between a bowl of ice cream or a five-gallon tub of it.

GSA’s Networx Web site


The brand names will mostly be the same. GSA awarded Networx Enterprise May 31 to five companies: AT&T, Level 3 Communications, Verizon Communications, Qwest Government Services and Sprint/Nextel. In March, three of those companies — AT&T, Verizon and Qwest — also won contracts under GSA’s larger Universal Networx program.

The two contracts offer many of the same services. All 10 of the telecom services that GSA required vendors to provide under Enterprise are included on Universal. Universal offers 25 additional varieties of telecom services. But there are other differences in the contracts that agencies should consider, too, GSA officials said.

“Enterprise required awardees to bid IP services, but the optional categories are where we hoped to attract new entrants into the market,” said John Johnson, assistant commissioner of integrated technology services at GSA’s Federal Acquisition Service. “Universal provides a robust suite of services, while Enterprise has the value of better prices. It is focused on IP-based services, and there are more vendors who can compete” in offering those services.

The Networx program is the successor to GSA’s FTS 2001 program, whose contracts are nearing expiration. Agencies will have about two years to move their telecom business from the FTS 2001 contracts to the Networx ones. Johnson said agencies should begin their transition to Universal in late July or early August and their transition to Enterprise by September.

Networx has a maximum lifespan of 10 years and an estimated value of about $20 billion, according to GSA. It covers voice, IP, wireless, satellite and IP-centric services.

One of the largest users of Networx will be the Defense Department, which played a key role in developing the contract’s requirements, Johnson said. “We had several meetings with [the Defense Information Systems Agency] to make sure Networx would satisfy them,” he said. “Networx is heavy in the area of security and reliability.”

DISA spokesman Mike Thiem said DISA intends to transition all FTS commercial voice services to Networx and has hired a full-time transition manager to accomplish that task. “Any commercial circuits or frame relay will be moved to Networx,” he said. “Command and control related requirements will go to the Global Information Grid,” DOD’s worldwide secure IP network.

The Agriculture, Homeland Security, Housing and Urban Development, Interior and Treasury departments also will be among the first to transition to the new contracts.

A DHS spokesman said the agency intentionally did not include wireless products or services on its agencywide contracts because it plans to order those services through Networx.

HUD is considering a variety of Networx services, including wireless, voice over IP for data and video, and security services for voice and data communications, said Bajinder Paul, HUD’s deputy chief information officer for information technology operations.

1105 Government Information Group staff writers Michael Hardy and Matthew Weigelt contributed to this story.

Networx fees will be tieredEditor's note: This sidebar was updated at 2:44 p.m. June 4, 2007. Please go to Corrections & Clarifications to see what has changed.

Agencies requiring less help from the General Services Administration to use the new Networx telecommunications contracts will pay lower fees, said John Johnson, assistant commissioner of integrated technology services at GSA’s Federal Acquisition Service.

GSA officials are developing a new fee structure for Networx, a multiple-award, indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity contract.

“Agencies will pay a fee commensurate with the value add from GSA,” Johnson said. “We anticipate it will be a tiered fee structure.”

GSA is still conducting research on the fee structure. One factor GSA will consider in setting the fees will be agencies’ plans for transitioning to Networx, Johnson said.

— Jason Miller

NEXT STORY: Coming soon: the Autobahn network

X
This website uses cookies to enhance user experience and to analyze performance and traffic on our website. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners. Learn More / Do Not Sell My Personal Information
Accept Cookies
X
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Do Not Sell My Personal Information

When you visit our website, we store cookies on your browser to collect information. The information collected might relate to you, your preferences or your device, and is mostly used to make the site work as you expect it to and to provide a more personalized web experience. However, you can choose not to allow certain types of cookies, which may impact your experience of the site and the services we are able to offer. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings according to your preference. You cannot opt-out of our First Party Strictly Necessary Cookies as they are deployed in order to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting the cookie banner and remembering your settings, to log into your account, to redirect you when you log out, etc.). For more information about the First and Third Party Cookies used please follow this link.

Allow All Cookies

Manage Consent Preferences

Strictly Necessary Cookies - Always Active

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data, Targeting & Social Media Cookies

Under the California Consumer Privacy Act, you have the right to opt-out of the sale of your personal information to third parties. These cookies collect information for analytics and to personalize your experience with targeted ads. You may exercise your right to opt out of the sale of personal information by using this toggle switch. If you opt out we will not be able to offer you personalised ads and will not hand over your personal information to any third parties. Additionally, you may contact our legal department for further clarification about your rights as a California consumer by using this Exercise My Rights link

If you have enabled privacy controls on your browser (such as a plugin), we have to take that as a valid request to opt-out. Therefore we would not be able to track your activity through the web. This may affect our ability to personalize ads according to your preferences.

Targeting cookies may be set through our site by our advertising partners. They may be used by those companies to build a profile of your interests and show you relevant adverts on other sites. They do not store directly personal information, but are based on uniquely identifying your browser and internet device. If you do not allow these cookies, you will experience less targeted advertising.

Social media cookies are set by a range of social media services that we have added to the site to enable you to share our content with your friends and networks. They are capable of tracking your browser across other sites and building up a profile of your interests. This may impact the content and messages you see on other websites you visit. If you do not allow these cookies you may not be able to use or see these sharing tools.

If you want to opt out of all of our lead reports and lists, please submit a privacy request at our Do Not Sell page.

Save Settings
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Cookie List

A cookie is a small piece of data (text file) that a website – when visited by a user – asks your browser to store on your device in order to remember information about you, such as your language preference or login information. Those cookies are set by us and called first-party cookies. We also use third-party cookies – which are cookies from a domain different than the domain of the website you are visiting – for our advertising and marketing efforts. More specifically, we use cookies and other tracking technologies for the following purposes:

Strictly Necessary Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Functional Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Performance Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Social Media Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Targeting Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.