The General Services Administration’s new initiative for modernizing federal telecom services will now officially have a new option to offer agencies for purchase, as CenturyLink announced March 14 that it had become the first provider to receive an authority to operate under the Enterprise Infrastructure Solutions contract.

“We’re excited to be the first vendor to receive an ATO on EIS so we can immediately help federal agencies jumpstart their IT modernization plans and use the latest technology to carry out their missions more efficiently,” said David Young, CenturyLink senior vice president, strategic government. “For example, agencies that have already issued EIS [requests for proposals] can now start awarding EIS task orders.”

In order for agencies to begin awarding opportunities to companies on the EIS contract, GSA must first issue an ATO for each contractor.

The EIS contract is a replacement for the Networx telecommunications contract — initially set to expire in January 2017 and subsequently extended into 2020 — and will serve as a one-stop-shop for enterprise infrastructure modernization.

Agencies have the option of a three-year extension on their current contracts to aid in the transition period but are expected to release their EIS solicitations by March 31, 2019.