Defense plans to be big user of GSA’s Networx contract

Top officials at the Defense Information Systems Agency have good news for the General Services Administration: The Defense Department will end up as the largest federal customer under the new Networx telecommunications contract that GSA manages.

Air Force Lt. Gen. Charles Croom, DISA's director, told Government Executive that his agency "was a big supporter of the GSA" and intended to use the new system when vendors on GSA's two Networx contracts can meet Defense requirements cost-effectively.

In March, GSA awarded its first Networx contract to Qwest, AT&T Government Solutions and Verizon Business Services. Under this contract, known as Networx Universal, vendors will provide voice, IP, wireless, satellite and other services to 135 federal agencies at locations in 191 countries. The contract, which is valued at $48.1 billion, is expected to transform the federal telecommunications system.

GSA is scheduled to award the second Networx contract, called Enterprise, on Thursday. That contract is worth an estimated $20.1 billion and will provide high-capacity fiber optics and other services such as Voice Over Internet Protocol and Internet Protocol television.

Evelyn DePalma, director for procurement and logistics for DISA and chief of the agency's Defense Information Technology Contracting Organization, also said Defense would become "the largest user of Networx." DePalma added that DISA is working closely with GSA on Networx with a full-time transition team working to move Defense circuits from the current FTS 2001 system to Networx.

Diana Gowen, senior vice president for the government services division at Qwest, said GSA probably had some concerns that Defense would choose to run all of its voice traffic over the agency's existing Global Information Grid instead of Networx. Defense is the biggest voice customer on GSA's FTS 2001 contract.

But DISA needed to use Networx to handle voice traffic to other federal agencies not on its Global Information Grid, said Marlin Forbes, regional vice president of Verizon's Federal Defense and International Services division. Forbes said he expected to see Defense voice traffic on Networx to remain about the same as on FTS 2001.

The Networx Enterprise contract has attracted interest from the three winners of the Universal contact as well as from Sprint and Level Three Communications, industry sources said. Sprint lost out in the bidding for the Universal contract. The Enterprise contract does not include international service and mandates service to only 300 federal buildings, compared to the 24,000 buildings covered by Networx Universal, according to GSA.

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
Close [ x ] More from GovExec

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Going Agile:Revolutionizing Federal Digital Services Delivery

    Here’s one indication that times have changed: Harriet Tubman is going to be the next face of the twenty dollar bill. Another sign of change? The way in which the federal government arrived at that decision.

  • Cyber Risk Report: Cybercrime Trends from 2016

    In our first half 2016 cyber trends report, SurfWatch Labs threat intelligence analysts noted one key theme – the interconnected nature of cybercrime – and the second half of the year saw organizations continuing to struggle with that reality. The number of potential cyber threats, the pool of already compromised information, and the ease of finding increasingly sophisticated cybercriminal tools continued to snowball throughout the year.

  • Featured Content from RSA Conference: Dissed by NIST

    Learn more about the latest draft of the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology guidance document on authentication and lifecycle management.

  • GBC Issue Brief: The Future of 9-1-1

    A Look Into the Next Generation of Emergency Services

  • GBC Survey Report: Securing the Perimeters

    A candid survey on cybersecurity in state and local governments

  • The New IP: Moving Government Agencies Toward the Network of The Future

    Federal IT managers are looking to modernize legacy network infrastructures that are taxed by growing demands from mobile devices, video, vast amounts of data, and more. This issue brief discusses the federal government network landscape, as well as market, financial force drivers for network modernization.

  • eBook: State & Local Cybersecurity

    CenturyLink is committed to helping state and local governments meet their cybersecurity challenges. Towards that end, CenturyLink commissioned a study from the Government Business Council that looked at the perceptions, attitudes and experiences of state and local leaders around the cybersecurity issue. The results were surprising in a number of ways. Learn more about their findings and the ways in which state and local governments can combat cybersecurity threats with this eBook.


When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.