Two more telecoms get the EIS go-ahead

GSA granted AT&T and Verizon authorities to operate under the agency's mammoth next-generation telecommunications contract.

wireless network

AT&T and Verizon now have three-year authorities to operate for the General Services Administration's $50 billion, 15-year Enterprise Infrastructure Solutions telecommunications contract.

The agency said on March 25 both companies finished their Business Support System testing on March 22. ATOs allow contractors to provide service under the contract.

CenturyLink earned its ATO status on March 11. Other mid-range EIS awardees, such as MetTel, expect to get their ATOs in the coming weeks.

"We're excited to receive our ATO and will utilize best practices and lessons learned to support agencies' unique requirements and transition them to EIS quickly and efficiently," said Mike Maiorana, senior vice president, public sector, Verizon, in a March 25 statement.

The multiple ATOs make it more likely in the coming weeks federal agencies will start cutting contracts for their solicitations under EIS.

Analysts have said agencies probably aren't going to wait for all nine contractors to get ATOs before they cut contracts, but they probably needed at least three with the authorizations for competitive bids.

In a March 14 blog post, Bill Zielinski, acting assistant commissioner, in GSA's Office of Information Technology Category, reiterated the upcoming milestones for agencies to complete their transition to EIS from their old telecommunications contract.

The agency extended a May 2020 deadline for the transition to May 2023 because of lagging task orders from agencies.

In his blog post, Zielinski said beginning March 2020, GSA will begin limiting use of contracts for agencies that haven't made task order awards. By March 31, 2022, he said 90 percent of agency telecom inventory must be moved off of current GSA telecommunications contracts -- Networx, WITS, and Local Service Agreements -- and onto EIS.

Networx, WITS, and LSA, contract will expire on May 31, 2023, he said.