AT&T Protests $400 Million State Contract

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) _ AT&T, the telecommunications company now responsible for providing phone and Internet service to the state of Florida is raising questions about a major new contract awarded to a rival vendor.

AT&T now has the current contract which expires in 2016. But the company contends the administration of Gov. Rick Scott changed the requirements for a new contract after bids had been initially submitted.

AT&T’s filing with the Department of Management Services contends “material changes” provided a competitive advantage to a subsidiary of Florida-based Harris Corp.

A DMS spokeswoman said she could not comment on the protest. A spokesman for Harris also declined comment.

AT&T paid a $3.6 million bond in order to challenge the contract. That equals about 1 percent of what AT&T was asking to get paid if it won the bid. The contract awarded by DMS is for seven years with an option for a seven-year renewal.