Federal agencies get GSA Networx transition reprieve

If you're one of the many federal agencies that has yet to transition off the General Services Administration (GSA) FTS-2001 contract to the sort-of new Networx telecom contract, you're now going to get even more time.

As reported in FierceGovernmentIT, federal agencies will now have until the summer of 2012 to get off their existing FTS 2001 Bridge contracts.

This is the second time the GSA has extended the deadline for agencies to write their Networx Enterprise and Networx Universal orders. In September, the GSA extended the deadline to Aug. 31, 2011.

On Dec. 8, 2010, the GSA approved a sole-source contract extension of FTS 2001 services provided by existing contract holders Sprint (NYSE: S) and Verizon (NYSE: VZ) due to concerns that some federal agencies will not have made the switch to Networx when the FTS 2001 sole source extension runs out in May and June. The sole source contract was created when the GSA fell behind in finalizing the elements of the Networx contract, but the problem now is that federal agencies are slow to make the move to the new contract.

Initially, agencies that opted to contract extension would be penalized with higher GSA management fees, Karl Krumbholz, GSA's director of network services programs, said in a recent GSA blog post that given the time it would take to implement a change, the agency "decided that it is not possible to implement a fee change at this time." 

While news of the slow transition to Networx is nothing new, that's not to say some federal agencies aren't making progress. The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and Department of Transportation (DOT), NASA and the Social Security Administration (SSA) have already made their service provider choices and have been awarding various task orders.

For more:
- FierceGovernmentIT has this article
- see this GSA blog post

Related articles:
FierceTelecom's rising government communications stars
Competitive carriers carve out public sector service niche
Sprint: We can help federal agencies transition to GSA Networx
Waiting on the feds

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