The U.S. government's Networx contract, the successor to FTS2001, is failing, observers say. Halfway through its 10-year term, the contract has driven around $2 billion in revenue compared to projections as high as $34 billion for this stage of the program, according to the General Services Administration (GSA (News - Alert)).
Networx is an umbrella program that allows federal agencies to buy voice, data and video services from five carriers – AT&T, Verizon, CenturyLink (formerly Qwest), Sprint (News - Alert) and Level 3.
Created by the GSA, Networx has a 10-year ceiling of $68.2 billion in revenue.
Networx offers federal agencies 48 services, ranging from toll-free voice to Web hosting, but these services, according to critics, are not bundled to allow agencies to easily buy end-to-end solutions.
Notably missing are wireless and cloud computing solutions.
Skeptics might argue that the FTS2001 transition, likewise, caused problems. Others might suggest such large programs, like most large federal information technology initiatives, simply never work.
The issues are simply too complicated and too large to be solved by a single business architecture.
The other problem is that it takes so long to create the programs that the information technology and communications world simply passes by. It’s a bit like the Telecommunications Act of 1996, focusing on spurring voice competition, right at the point where voice was about to begin a long slide in importance – and when the Internet and Web applications, plus mobile, surged to prominence.
Edited by Braden Becker