MCI WorldCom wins gov't contract

MCI WorldCom announced this week it has won the second of two contracts awarded by the US federal government which combined are worth $US5 billion.

Under the two contracts Sprint, which was awarded the first contract in mid-December, and MCI WorldCom will jointly supply global long distance networking services for federal agencies. The contracts were awarded under the government's Federal Technology Service (FTS) 2001 program which was designed to give agencies a choice between two communications companies when selecting their services, according to an MCI WorldCom statement.

The two contracts, combined, are guaranteed to generate a minimum revenue of $750 million over a four year period per vendor, but are anticipated to bring in over $5 billion over an eight year period, MCI WorldCom said.

The exact dollar amount depends on how many of the services are used and how the contract evolves, according to company spokesman Ed Berstraesser.

"This is MCI WorldCom's largest contract win as a newly merged company," Tim Price, MCI WorldCom's vice president and chief executive officer, said in a statement.

The multi-billion dollar contract includes a range of domestic and global voice, data, Internet and videoconferencing services. According to the contract, MCI WorldCom will be able to offer local services after one year's time.

MCI WorldCom expects to eventually generate over 200 job openings as a result of having been awarded the FTS2001 program contract. While national in scope, the new employment opportunities will be concentrated in Washington, D.C., area and in Cary, North Carolina, where MCI WorldCom's network operations are centred, Berstraesser said.

As to whether or not winning the contract will prompt MCI WorldCom to retain some of its employees laid-off in late December, Berstraesser said that "the roles of the new positions have not yet been defined and will be as time progresses."

MCI WorldCom also holds federal contracts with the United States Postal Service, the Federal Aviation Administration, the National Science Foundation and the Department of Defence.

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