Under the terms of the contract, Verizon is due to provide NASA with audio, video and Web conferencing services up through 2017. Although Verizon has provided NASA with all of its teleconferencing services since 2001, the new contract states that the carrier must now also provide high-definition IP video conferencing that will serve as an upgrade to NASA's current video conferencing system. Verizon says the contract will be worth $108 million if all of its options are exercised.
Verizon's new NASA contract was awarded as part of the government's Networx program, a 10-year $20 billion initiative designed to upgrade and implement the U.S. federal government's voice, data, video and wireless networks. Verizon, along with Qwest and AT&T, won big contracts last year to help run the government's global communications enterprise Networx Universal and provide it with services such as traditional voice calling, frame-relay, VoIP, VPNs and teleconferencing. Last summer, Verizon announced that it had reached a deal worth around $16.4 million to provide for the U.S. Postal Service's long-distance and calling-card services and to also upgrade USPS's data circuits to Verizon's MPLS technology.