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GSA's FTS2000 Telecommunications Contracts ExtendedService to Federal Long-Distance Customers Continues Under New Extension Contracts

GSA # 9542

December 7, 1998
Contact: Bill Bearden
(202) 501-1231

Washington, DC -- The U.S. General Services Administration's 10-year FTS2000 long-distance telecommunications services contracts, which officially ended at midnight yesterday, have been extended.

"These extension contracts will permit an orderly transition from the 10-year-old FTS2000 contracts to the FTS2001 contract(s)," said GSA Administrator David J. Barram. "Contract coverage will allow customer agencies to minimize any disruption to their ongoing missions and to implement their strategies to meet Y2K challenges."

Through the continuing partnerships between the GSA, AT&T and Sprint, Federal customers will continue to receive state-of-art long-distance telecommunications services from GSA's FTS2000 extension contracts at current prices.

The new extension contract prices are based on the last year of the 10-year contract and are the best in the business. FTS recently completed a comparison of FTS2000 and equivalent commercial prices, which showed FTS2000 prices are 15.9 percent lower in the aggregate than the lowest commercial prices in fiscal year 1998.

GSA awarded extension contracts to both AT&T Communications and Sprint Communications Company, L.P., effective today for a base period of 12 months with two six-month option periods. The new contracts represent a continuation of FTS2000 services at existing prices for most products and services.

GSA also expects to award the follow-on, non-mandatory FTS2001 contract(s) by the end of this month.

FTS Commissioner Dennis Fischer said that prices under AT&T's and Sprint's new contracts remain virtually unchanged. "But," he added, "both contractors now will be able to bill client agencies for universal service fund charges." USF charges help support discounted Internet access for schools, libraries and rural health clinics.

GSA is an executive branch agency that provides policy leadership and expertly managed space, products, services and solutions at the best value to enable Federal employees to accomplish their mission. Its telecommunications services are provided by the Federal Technology Service, which delivers reimbursable local and long-distance telecommunications, information technology, and information security services to Federal agencies.

GSA's Federal Technology Service includes multi-disciplinary teams dedicated to providing leadership within the Federal government in procuring information technology and telecommunications services at the lowest cost to the taxpayer and the greatest value to Federal agencies. To better provide its customers around the world with best value, innovation, integration, and interoperability, FTS services cover procurements under two business lines: network services and information technology solutions. The current emphasis is on positioning the government to take advantage of potential cost savings due to recent telecommunications industry restructuring initiatives.

FTS2000 has been a groundbreaking, innovative telecommunications contract since its award in December 1988. It has provided a higher quality of service to Federal customers through a public-private partnership. Provision of services has been conducted through private sector-owned and operated telecommunications resources. FTS2000 owns no facilities or equipment, nor has it made any capital investment.

FTS2000 customer agencies, which include DoD and civilian agencies and their contractors, have had access to several inter-city telecommunications services. FTS2000 uses digital telecommunications and fiber optics to provide state-of-the-art switched voice, packet switched, switched data, dedicated transmission, video transmission and switched digital integrated services.

"GSA's accomplishments in continuing successful partnerships with industry is the key to our future success as we focus on our bottom line and future telecommunications initiatives," said Dennis Fischer. "We are demonstrating that we can provide uninterrupted service to our customers while providing the most cost-effective solutions to their telecommunications needs."