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GSA Selects Bell Atlantic and AT&T for Local Telecommunications Services Contract in Buffalo, NY Metro Area

GSA #9644

February 24, 2000
Contact: Bill Bearden (202) 501-1231

Washington, DC -- The U.S. General Services Administration today selected Bell Atlantic and AT&T to provide local telecommunications services to federal government agencies in the Buffalo, NY metropolitan area. The value of government business is estimated to be $40 million over 8 years - 4 base years plus 4 one-year options.

The award is the latest of the Metropolitan Area Acquisition (MAA) Program, which is managed by GSA's Federal Technology Service (FTS). The initial MAA program awards were made in May 1999. Three contracts for local telecommunications services were awarded to AT&T for New York, Chicago, and San Francisco. The success of that initial award led GSA to expand the program dramatically in order to bring the greatest possible success to federal government users across the nation. The contracts in Buffalo provide for standard voice service as well as switched data service and dedicated transmission service. The scope of the contracts allows for adding new and leading edge services as they become available in the commercial marketplace.

Over the life of the contracts, the new local service prices negotiated with Bell Atlantic and AT&T will potentially save the government over $8.3 million when compared with standard business rates and over $6.4 million when compared with current government rates. This is an approximate 38% saving over standard business rates and 32% over current government rates. For the core voice service of Analog Centrex, the offered prices range from 48% to 27% below standard business rates and 40% to 17% below current government rates.

"This latest award demonstrates once again that GSA is at the leading edge of local telecommunications service competition," said GSA Administrator David J. Barram. "We believe that our success benefits the American taxpayer twofold: once by the direct savings achieved, and again by stimulating the development of viable competition in the industry."

The MAA Program was conceived shortly after the Telecommunications Act of 1996, in order to bring to the local service environment the same benefits of competition that had been realized in the long distance market since 1984. Following closely behind the highly successful award of FTS2001 long distance service contracts to Sprint and MCI in late 1998, the initial MAA awards in May 1999 achieved unprecedented low prices for local service that established new paradigms for the industry. GSA then moved aggressively to extend the program to 17 additional metropolitan areas. Buffalo is the first of those to be awarded.

"The award in Buffalo is particularly gratifying because it demonstrates that we are capable of bringing the benefits of local service competition to smaller markets where federal users are less numerous," said Dennis Fischer, FTS Commissioner. "We have also streamlined our processes very effectively and expect to expedite the awards of the remaining 16 cities."

As part of the its program strategy, FTS believes in continuous internal competition among vendors and therefore has a preference for multiple contracts and sources. To continue its goal to encourage vigorous competition, FTS has incorporated competition-enhancing terms in its MAA and FTS2001 telecommunications contracts, including price management mechanisms and technology refreshment provisions. These are meant to ensure not only that the prices paid by federal government users remain current with the best available in the marketplace, but that the types of services offered remain current with industry trends as well.

For more information on the MAA program, visit the GSA FTS website at http://www.gsa.gov/maa. For contract specific information call Robert Hayhurst, contracting officer, on (703) 610-2234, or the MAA program manager Larry Hazzard on (703) 610-2823.


Additional Information on the Buffalo Metropolitan Area Acquisition (MAA)

Program Level

Nationwide qualification process that certifies competitive local service providers at the program level to provide a set of standard local services.
Continuous competition introduced throughout the life of the contract with a price management mechanism to ensure timely and continued competitive pricing.
One-stop-shopping local service contract with a broad scope for future local and long distance service integration and other new commercial services. Government customers on par with commercial customers�Government gets access to new services at same pace as commercial marketplace.
Four base years plus four one-year options indefinite delivery/indefinite quantify fixed price contract with flexible provision for agencies' specific requirements.
Significant price reduction due to competition.

Service Level

Comprehensive range of local service offerings including voice services with Integrated Services Digital Network (ISDN) capabilities, Circuit-Switched Data Services, and Dedicated Transmission Services. Additional advanced and emerging services such as Packet Switched, Internet Protocol (IP), Frame Relay (FR), Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM), Switched Multi-megabit Data Service (SMDS), Synchronous Optical Network (SONET), Video Teleconferencing, Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) Services are in scope for addition when needed.
Feature-rich voice services with many features included as part of basic service package and as options. Services also include provision for National Security/Emergency Preparedness (NS/EP) capabilities.
Local service coverage includes all of Erie County including the city of Buffalo, Buffalo International Airport and other towns and communities in Western New York State. Additional locations in close proximity can be included into the MAA contract after contract award.
No per-minute usage charge for Government-to-Government calls on a contractor's network.
Number portability supported when agencies move to a new service provider.
New services are compatible with existing ISDN equipment with no new equipment costs to agencies
Detailed pricing by NPA-NXX.
Six flexible service delivery point options that allow agencies to acquire partial or turnkey services.
Flexible solutions for ensuring quality inside wiring and achieving connectivity throughout a building.
Wide range of support services including responsive ordering, billing, network troubleshooting, repair capabilities, infrastructure inventory, etc.
Continuous competition designed to allow agencies to act as "smart shoppers" in a commercial-like marketplace.