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State Wrapping Up Loose Ends of ACS Contract


December 31, 2003
Wednesday - 12:10 am

In accordance with a settlement agreement with Alaska Communications System, the State of Alaska has made strong progress on all tasks relating to disentanglement of the Telecommunications Partnering Agreement, scheduled for cutover on December 31, 2003. At the cutover, the various parts, or bundles of telecommunications services, formerly covered by the now-terminated TPA, will be contracted with other providers. Some will continue with ACS as individual bundles.

The Enterprise Technology Services Division of the Department of Administration has been charged with completing all of the telecommunications procurements and technical issues of the settlement agreement.

"It is gratifying to see this operation work out as smoothly as it has, which is a testimony to the professional staff at the ETS Division, ACS, and other providers," said Governor Frank H. Murkowski. "Good communications technology is a basic expectation of the public when they have business with state agencies, as it is between the many agencies of state government. So, we appreciate that changing out the various parts of the overall contract has gone off without disruption in services."

There were ten (10) bundles of services included in the comprehensive TPA with ACS that have now been divided into the following categories:

Core Services - includes voice, data, video, and the help center services that were awarded to GCI in an 18-month contract, with two potential one-year extensions. This contract is valued at approximately $10 million for the 18-month engagement. GCI has accepted the responsibilities for the operations and management of these services going forward.

Wireless - to include paging, cellular, and satellite telephony services in a contract that will be awarded by December 2004. ETS took back the paging services from ACS on November 1, 2003. In the meantime, ACS will continue to provide the state cellular services for one year in preparation for changes based on a recent FCC ruling on number portability. ETS will also extend satellite telephony services with ACS for a period of up to six months, until a separate contract can be awarded.

SATS - The State of Alaska Telecommunications System (microwave) maintenance and operations contract is in the review stages of a recently released RFP. The state expects to award this contract by December 31, 2003.

Satellite Broadcast and Earth Station maintenance and operations were recently returned to the Alaska Public Broadcasting, Inc. group in Anchorage. APBI was being used by ACS as a sub-contractor under the TPA. The agreement between APBI and ETS relieves ACS of its responsibilities for these services.

ETS successfully cutover, or transferred carriers of the 239 voice-over-internet-protocol phones in five sites located in Anchorage and Juneau on Monday, December 29, 2003 using a contract with Northrop Grumman as the integrator of services. This cutover represents the final steps necessary for the State of Alaska to resume control over its telecommunications environment and will allow an 18-month timeframe to review the future of the state's converged network technologies.



Source of News Release:

Office of the Governor
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