Networx winners: AT&T, Verizon, Qwest

Sprint cut out of bidding for billions of dollars in fed telecom work.

The General Services Administration at long last picked the winners for the massive 10-year, $48 billion Networx contract. And the winners are ... AT&T, Qwest Communications and Verizon, The NY Times reports.

The contract covers voice, video and data services and technologies for as many as 135 agencies operating in 190 countries. Several major departments, including Homeland Security and Treasury, have already signed up.

The result is a huge blow to Sprint, which is being locked out of future government work after being a provider for 20 years. The winners aren't guranteed any work, just the right to compete against each other for the business.

While current G.S.A. officials would not say why Sprint lost out, Bob Woods, a former official at the agency who now works as a consultant, surmised that Sprint could not meet the low prices of its competitors. Mr. Woods estimated that Sprint could lose roughly $200 million to $250 million annually in existing government business.

The news was also a huge win for relatively small Qwest. Still, Qwest will have its work cut out for them, competing against Verizon and AT&T.

"The advanced technologies and services defined in the Networx program will serve as a platform to transform the government’s telecommunications infrastructure to a more seamless and secure environment,” the G.S.A.’s acquisitions commissioner, Jim Williams, said in a prepared statement.

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