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US Sprint Communications Co, which at one stage pulled out of the bidding when its then partner Electronic Data Systems withdrew, was the surprise choice for the lesser, 40% portion of the FTS2000 contract to build and operate a new nationwide telecommunications network for the US government. Disappointed in the bidding for the 10-year contract, valued at $3,000m to $10,000m by the General Services Administration although others think it could go as high as $25,000m, is the MCI Communications Corp-Martin Marietta consortium that also included Northern Telecom. Resident contractor AT&T Co, with Boeing Co, Computer Sciences and others, won the 60%. EDS withdrew again from US Sprint’s bid in February, and the phone company then decided to go it alone. The working of the pact will be overseen by Centel Corp under a four-year $29.4m contract (CI No 1,072). The initial arrangement for the 60-40 split, under which the two contractors will each provide telephone service for specific agencies of the government, with AT&T getting ones that generate most phone traffic, will run for four years.

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