The federal government's Networx Universal project is finally yielding some revenue for telcos. The Department of Homeland Security awarded about $679 million worth of work from a $1 billion, 10-year contract to Verizon Communications, with potentially another $292 million from the contract going to AT&T as a back-up service provider. The DHS deal involves more than 5,000 employees and 22 different agencies. Verizon will consolidate multiple wide area network architectures on a secure IP infrastructure.
Perhaps the contract will be an ice-breaker between government agencies and the carriers authorized to bid on Networx Universal deals. Since carriers received authorization more than a year ago, very few Networx contracts have been drawn up. The telecom industry has been expecting that would change as this year plays out. The DHS deal is the largest Networx contract awarded thus far.