After a protest from rival Verizon failed, CenturyLink emerged as the winner of the Interior Department's telecom modernization task order under the Enterprise Infrastructure Solutions contract.
The Department of the Interior awarded CenturyLink a $1.6 billion task order under the General Services Administration's $50 billion, 15-year, next-generation telecommunications contract, Enterprise Infrastructure Solutions.
The contract covers two of the agency's networking areas -- managed core network services and managed access services -- for a combined $1.6 billion ceiling. It will run through 2032 if all options are exercised.
The award was initially made in September but was held up due to a protest from Verizon, which also bid on the task order. That protest, which focused on pricing, was resolved by the Government Accountability Office in a Dec. 26 decision in CenturyLink's favor.
"This award from DOI shows that government agencies are increasingly turning to CenturyLink as their trusted provider to help them with their IT modernization efforts so they can focus on their mission," David Young, CenturyLink senior vice president of public sector, said in a statement.
The Interior Department has a nationwide footprint that includes the Fish and Wildlife Service, the National Park Service, the Bureau of Indian Affairs and the Bureau of Land Management. Overall, the agency has over 65,000 employees and 2,400 operating locations.
The push at Interior to modernize via EIS is "good news for the GSA and the Office of Management and Budget," former Federal Acquisition Service Commissioner Jim Williams told FCW. Williams, now a partner at Schambach & Williams Consulting, said that contract managers and acquisition policymakers are looking for EIS success stories to push the vehicle as an effective modernization tool to other agencies looking to upgrade systems.
Williams said he expects that Interior Department CIO William Vajda "will look to do something transformational" with the EIS task order.
FCW reached out to Verizon and the Interior Department for comment on the award. Neither had responded by our deadline.
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