Windstream BusinessWindstream has won a major contract with the Department of Veterans Affairs – a five-year agreement potentially worth more than $450 million. The carrier will provide services such as voice and high-speed Ethernet connectivity to the Internet, as well as customized services to support applications including telemedicine.

In a press release, Windstream Vice President of Government Solutions Michael Magliato noted that in the past the VA’s voice, data and Internet were decentralized. But the VA has consolidated those efforts with the goal of improving service quality and reducing costs.

The Importance of the Windstream VA Contract
Windstream has strived hard to transition from being a traditional voice-focused local phone service provider into a nationwide company focused on the business market. Offering Ethernet has been an important element of that strategy. In 2013, the carrier launched nationwide switched carrier Ethernet services, just as government agencies were beginning to warm up to the idea of using Ethernet rather than traditional TDM-based services.

Late last year Windstream won a contract to provide Ethernet connectivity to the National Weather Service – another big contract and one that required the carrier to install fiber to some NWS field offices that didn’t previously have fiber connectivity.

Magliato told me at that time that Windstream was in a good position to install fiber where needed because its national fiber network was assembled through the acquisition of various competitive regional networks with dense fiber footprints.