Telecommunications Alternatives for Federal Users

Market Trends and Decisionmaking Criteria

by Leland Johnson, Marvin A. Sirbu, Bridger M. Mitchell

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Decisionmaking in telecommunications procurement has become more difficult in recent years because of rapid technological advances, changing agency needs,and increasingly competitive markets for voice and data transmission and related equipment. This report identifies the kinds of basic information that federal agencies should collect, and the ways in which they should use it, to improve their procurement decisions. More specifically, the study has four major objectives:(1) to identify and assess options for meeting voice and data needs, taking into account technical, economic, and regulatory constraints; (2) to show how federal agencies can evaluate their needs in light of the options for satisfying them; (3) to establish criteria for evaluating the relative merits of options in light of these needs; and (4) to construct a decisionmaking framework for choosing among options, taking into account uncertainties about costs,performance, and benefits.

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