CDW-G wins $238M contract for 2020 census mobile testing and field operations

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CDW-G has won a $238 million contract to support the Census Bureau’s use of mobile devices in testing for and operating the 2020 decennial census.

Through the Decennial Device-as-a-Service contract, Census will receive 75,000 mobile devices prior to an August 2019 test and a total of 400,000 in February 2020 for actual enumeration and for nonresponse followup. The agency will also receive the necessary wireless service, accessories and other provisioning in one set of services.

Census, however, will configure its own mobile device management, it said last year. It is also developing supporting applications in-house.

Verizon will serve as the subcontractor to provide wireless service under the contract, FedScoop has learned.

Census wanted to replace the old-school, pencil-and-paper canvassing with smartphone technologies to help enumerators in the field during the upcoming survey, and it weighed several options, including a bring-your-own-device model.  Ultimately, the bureau decided on a device-as-a-service model “in which the Census Bureau would award a contract to a telecommunications company that would provide devices and the accompanying service contract on behalf of the Census Bureau to enumerators.”

Census said it is open to both Android and iOS devices for field enumeration.

“This contract vehicle will ensure the best local telecommunication carrier when available, and will cover the mobile device provisioning, shipping, storage, and disposition,” Director John Thompson’s written testimony to the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee’s Subcommittee on Government Operations last November reads.

“These devices have software that enumerators will use to securely collect households’ information and transmit those data, their daily assignments, updates, and timesheets,” the testimony says.

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2020 census, CDW-G, mobile, U.S. Census Bureau, Verizon