Level 3 to Test Verizon’s WITS

The General Services Administration received bids late last month to provide voice and data services to federal agencies in the Washington, D.C., area (the District of Columbia, Northern Virginia and much of Maryland).

The $1.8 billion Washington Interagency Telecommunications System-3 (WITS-3) contract seems like a slam dunk for incumbent Verizon, whose service territory covers the greater Washington area. (The other incumbent is Qwest Communications.) But GSA invited competition for the contract by saying it intended to make multiple awards, and we hear that both Level 3 Communications and AT&T submitted bids. We also are told Jerry Hogge, senior veep of the Level 3 federal group, is real hungry for this one.

The bidders still must submit their best-and-final offers, and GSA does not intend to award the contact until the end of the year, shortly after which GSA will turn on WITS-3 finally freeing DC-based federal agencies from a so-yesterday "caller-ID," which under the current contract is “WITS 2001."

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