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GSA Awards Local Telecommunications Services Contracts For Cleveland and Los Angeles Metropolitan Areas Combined Value of Government Business Estimated to be $350 Million

GSA # 9660

March 24, 2000
Contact: Bill Bearden (202) 501-1231

WASHINGTON -- The U.S. General Services Administration today awarded contracts to four companies to provide local telecommunications services to federal government agencies in two more cities under its Metropolitan Area Acquisition Contracts. The cities are Cleveland and Los Angeles and the combined value of government business is estimated to be $350 million over 8 years - 4 base years plus 4 one-year options.

GSA today selected Ameritech Corp. and AT&T for the Cleveland metropolitan area, and WinStar Communications, Inc. and Pacific Bell to provide services to agencies in the Los Angeles metropolitan area.

These awards are the latest results of the Metropolitan Area Acquisition (MAA) Program, which is managed by GSA's Federal Technology Service (FTS). The contracts in Cleveland and Los Angeles bring the total number of cities served by the program to 7, with procurements for 13 additional cities already underway. The contracts provide for standard voice service as well as switched data service and dedicated transmission service offerings. The scope of the contracts allows for the addition of new and leading edge services as they become available in the commercial marketplace.

An additional award for the Baltimore metropolitan area is expected soon followed by awards for Miami, Indianapolis, St. Louis and Minneapolis in the near future.

The contracts in Cleveland have an estimated value of $150 million over 8 years, with new local service prices that will potentially save the government over $20 million when compared to rates currently available to the government. This is a saving of approximately 40%. For the core voice service of analog centrex, the offered prices will potentially save the government nearly $8 million when compared to currently available prices.

The contracts in Los Angeles have an estimated value of $200 million over 8 years, with new local service prices that will potentially save the government over $71 million when compared with standard business rates and over $47 million when compared with rates currently available to the government. This is an approximately 56% saving over standard business rates and 46% over current government rates. For the core voice service of analog centrex, the offered prices will potentially save the government approximately $40 million when compared to currently available prices.

The MAA Program was conceived shortly after the Telecommunications Act of 1996 in order to bring to the local service environment the same benefits of competition that had been realized in the long distance market since 1984..

"We are now well underway in the rollout of the local telecommunications program and the achievements of our goals of bringing the benefits of competition to federal government users nationwide," said Sandra Bates newly appointed Commissioner of GSA's Federal Technology Service. "We are pleased that the industry has chosen to respond to our program by competing vigorously, and are also pleased that we have been able to expand the community of successful contractors participating in the program."

As part of the its program strategy, FTS has incorporated competition-enhancing terms in its MAA and FTS2001 (long-distance) telecommunications contracts, including price management mechanisms and technology refreshment provisions. These are meant to ensure not only that the prices paid by federal government users remain current with the best available in the marketplace, but that the types of services offered remain current with industry trends as well.

"These latest awards highlight the positive role that GSA is playing in stimulating the development of viable local telecommunications service competition in the industry," said GSA Administrator David J. Barram. "We believe that this will ultimately benefit both government and non-government users."

For more MAA program specific information, please refer to the GSA FTS website at www.gsa.gov/MAA, or call the MAA Program Director, Larry Hazzard at (703) 610-2823.

Additional Information on the Metropolitan Area Acquisition (MAA)

Program Level

Nationwide qualification process that certifies competitive local service providers at the program level to provide a set of standard local services.

Continuous competition introduced throughout the life of the contract with a price management mechanism to ensure timely and continued pricing.

One-stop-shopping local service contract with a broad scope for future local and long distance service integration and other new commercial services. Government customers on par with commercial customers�Government gets access to new services at same pace as commercial marketplace.

Four base years plus four one-year options indefinite delivery/indefinite quantify fixed price contract with flexible provision for agencies' specific requirements.

Significant price reduction due to competition.

Service Level

Comprehensive range of local service offerings including voice services with Integrated Services Digital Network (ISDN) capabilities, Circuit-Switched Data Services, and Dedicated Transmission Services. Additional advanced and emerging services such as Packet Switched, Internet Protocol (IP), Frame Relay (FR), Asynchronous transfer Mode (ATM), Switched Multi-megabit Data Service (SMDS), Synchronous Optical Network (SONET), Video Teleconferencing, Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) Services are in scope for addition when needed.

Feature-rich voice services with many features included as part of basic service package and as options. Services also include provision for National Security/Emergency Preparedness (NS/EP) capabilities.

No per-minute usage charge for Government-to-Government calls on the contractor's network.

Number portability supported when agencies move to a new service provider.

New services are compatible with existing ISDN equipment with no new equipment costs to agencies.

Detailed pricing by NPA-NXX.

Six flexible service delivery point options that allow agencies to acquire partial or turnkey services.

Flexible solutions for ensuring quality inside wiring and achieving connectivity throughout a building.

Wide range of support services including responsive ordering, billing, network troubleshooting, repair capabilities, infrastructure inventory, etc.

Continuous competition designed to allow agencies to act as "smart shoppers" in a commercial-like marketplace.