December 22, 2011

Contract Award: CenturyLink to support U.S. DoD communications transport services

News Report

As announced in a recent press release, CenturyLink has won a multi-year task order valued at more than $250 million from the Defense Information Systems Agency/Defense Information Technology Contracting Organization (DISA/DITCO) to provide private line services for dedicated high-speed connections between military installations.

With private line services from CenturyLink, U.S. DoD will benefit from reliable transport service; scalable, low latency; and the ability to support multiple applications with flexible network configurations. These private line connections will be dedicated for military use, and the information they carry will be protected with one of the most secure services available.

Under the terms of the order by DISA/DITCO, CenturyLink Government will provide private line services to the U.S. DoD as it migrates to Networx, the largest global communications contract program ever developed for the federal government by the U.S. General Services Administration. When the five-year task order is fully implemented in 2012, CenturyLink Government will provide private line services to all U.S. DoD agencies, including the Air Force, Army, Marines and Navy.

The Context

The largest U.S. government telecommunications program in history, Networx is a 10-year governmentwide contract valued at more than $68 billion. It replaced the FTS2001 contract, which expired Jan. 1, 2008, and offers more advanced telecom technologies and services, such as IP telephony and managed e-authentication services, which FTS2001 did not.

Networx is the largest and most ambitious government telecommunications contract to date. Its aim is to make all voice, data, wireless and IP-related solutions available through one convenient contract, and it was designed under the theory that it can provide the latest technologies at the lowest prices because it drives the billions of dollars that agencies spend on telecom through one contract, therefore cutting prices through economies of scale.

The U.S. General Services Administration manages the Networx contract, which is a way for 135 federal agencies operating out of 191 countries to buy services from the largest telecom companies in the United States, including voice and phone-related services, Virtual Private Networks, IP telephone and IP-related services, managed firewalls, e-authentication and other security services, cell phone and wireless services, video conferencing, web conferencing, storage and other management and application services.

Networx offers thus comprehensive, best value telecommunications providing for new technologies, industry partners and ways to achieve a more efficient, and effective government. Networx allows agencies to focus their resources on building seamless, secure operating environments while ensuring access to the best technology industry has to offer.

The Networx program provides:
  • Service continuity
  • Competitive prices
  • High quality service
  • Full-service offerings (a broad array of services and the ability to expand services throughout the life of the contracts)
  • Alternative sources (access to a broad spectrum of industry service providers, including the major telecommunications companies)
  • Operations support (ordering, billing, and inventory management functions)Transition support - timely and efficient transition coordination and assistance
  • Performance based contracts (Service Level Agreements to ensure contractor performance and quality of service)

"CenturyLink will deploy its optical network infrastructure to deliver highly reliable and capable private line services to support the critical and growing needs of our Defense customers," said Diana Gowen, senior vice president and general manager of CenturyLink Government, which is headquartered in Arlington, Va. "CenturyLink's private line services have extensive geographic coverage that will ensure fast, direct, and secure communications between U.S. military bases, posts, camps, and stations."

References: CenturyLink (1), Gsa.Gov (2), GovernmentExecutive (3)

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