U.K. incumbent joins AT&T, CenturyLink, Level 3, Verizon on list of eligible telcos.

BT is one of 10 operators that qualified this week to compete for $50 billion worth of U.S. government IT and telecom contracts.

The General Services Administration (GSA) has published a list of eligible bidders for its Enterprise Infrastructure Solution (EIS) contract, a 15-year, government-wide contract under which federal agencies are supplied with mission-critical communications, infrastructure and IT services.

In addition to BT’s BT Federal division, AT&T, CenturyLink, Level 3 – which is in the process of merging with CenturyLink – and Verizon are also on the GSA’s list of qualified bidders.

"We are extremely proud to have been named a qualified bidder under the EIS contract and look forward to expanding our relationship with the GSA and the federal agencies they serve," said Tony Wellen, COO of BT Federal. "BT Federal is fully prepared to assist in enabling a swift and seamless transition to the next generation of telecommunications services within the federal government sector."

EIS replaces the current system for procuring government services from telcos, called Networx, and is the largest federal communications contract in history.

The 15-year contract comprises a five-year basic term, and two optional, five-year extensions.

"EIS will help agencies establish a solid foundation to modernise the government’s IT infrastructure, implement advanced cybersecurity solutions, and improve service to the public," said Mary Davie, acting deputy commissioner of the GSA’s Federal Acquisition Service (FSA). "Today’s awards will make it much easier and more affordable for the government to make needed improvements to its telecom and IT systems, today and in the future."