Briefs

FRAMINGHAM (03/31/2000) - Fixed-wireless local-loop provider WinStar Communications Inc. has reached a key milestone by securing contracts with the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) for certain federal buildings in Baltimore, Cincinnati and Los Angeles. GSA contracts are considered indispensable for government business because the GSA acts as a government landlord and it provides preapproved lists of vendors to government technology buyers. Ironically, WinStar executives recently have gone before Congress and the Federal Communications Commission to demand rules forcing private and public landlords to provide access to newer carriers, while real estate groups have countered that plenty of such deals are being signed without regulatory intervention.

Bell Atlantic now links its traditional circuit-switched phone network to the IP telephone networks of competitive carriers so callers dialing in from IP networks can reach customers who have regular phones. IP carriers could only do this before if they bought their own gateway device to connect the two types of networks. Bell Atlantic has installed its own gateways and sells the network connections as a service.

Qwest Communications International Inc. last week announced a three-year deal with IBM Global Services valued at $5 billion. IBM will build and provide operational support for 28 new Qwest data centers, called CyberCenters. The first data centers will be built in Dallas, Philadelphia, Sterling, Virginia, and San Jose this year. By year-end, Qwest expects to have 14 IBM-built data centers up and running.

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