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GSA's National Antenna Program Wins Vice President Al Gore's Hammer AwardAgency's National Antenna Program Fosters Innovation and Saves Tax Dollars, Showing Government Can Work Better and Cost Less

GSA #9552

January 13, 1999
Contact: April Kaufman
(202) 501-1231

WASHINGTON -- The U.S. General Services Administration was awarded Vice President Al Gore's Hammer Award this morning for the agency's National Antenna Program, which uses innovative efforts to provide the wireless communications industry with antenna sites on top of federal buildings and has earned over $1.1 million that helps maintain America's public buildings.

Under its National Antenna Program, GSA has signed leases with industry to place new mobile personal communications antennas on the rooftops of 72 government-owned buildings. While returning needed dollars back to the government, the program also helps industry provide improved service to the rapidly growing number of personal communications services customers.

Telecommunications experts predict that more than 100,000 new sites will be required for mobile personal communications antennas by the year 2000. GSA Administrator David J. Barram said that "GSA is partnering with industry to help to fill the demand for sites with our National Antenna Program, which brings out the best instincts in government by creating a public-private partnership that is innovative, saves tax dollars and helps foster improvements in the telecommunications industry."

"GSA's National Antenna Program is truly a government reinvention success story," said Janice Warden, Assistant Director for the National Partnership for Reinventing Government (NPR), as she presented the Hammer Award to GSA. "In response to Vice President Gore's challenge, you have shown that government can work better and cost less. GSA has cut red tape, provided an unprecedented lease turnaround time, established a nationwide network of antenna leasing specialists and has brought over $1.1 million dollars in revenues back to the taxpayers. And, most importantly, you have enhanced the infrastructure of America's Information Superhighway."

The program offers industry several advantages. First, GSA's inventory of 1,900 government-owned facilities provides nationwide sites to lease to qualified providers and carriers. Located in nearly every metropolitan area, most facilities have 24-hour security, minimizing the threat of vandalism or theft. In addition, GSA's guidelines for antenna siting and lease contracts have been streamlined to reduce time and paperwork and to satisfy industry needs quickly, often in as little as 14 days. Finally, GSA's national network of highly-trained antenna leasing specialists can easily coordinate antenna-siting needs with qualified providers.

Launched in 1989 with four television media lessees atop the Old Post Office Tower in downtown Washington, GSA's National Antenna Program received a boost in 1995, when President Clinton signed an Executive Memorandum directing federal agencies to assist the wireless communications industry in locating and securing sites for antennas. Moreover, the Telecommunications Act of 1996 encouraged the rapid deployment of new telecommunications technologies nationally.

The program is part of GSA's Retail Tenant Services Center, which leases space to private firms for commercial use in federal property controlled by GSA. Examples include leasing space for retail stores, restaurants, rooftop antennas, parking, financial services, office space and pay telephones.

Paul Chistolini, Deputy Commissioner for the GSA's Public Buildings Service, congratulated each team member for their pioneering efforts. "The Antenna program has come a long way," said Chistolini. "Because of the efforts of GSA experts, over $1.1 million dollars are being collected each year from otherwise unused rooftop space."

For more information, visit http://www.gsa.gov/pbs/antenna.htm to view a listing of antenna sites and regional representatives.