By MICHAEL ANICH
JOHNSTOWN - Fulton County government is considering making a major data network switch from Frontier Communications to an Albany firm.
Fulton County Information Services Director Tony Basile speaks to the Board of Supervisors’ Finance Committee on Thursday at the County Office Building in Johnstown.
The Leader-Herald/Michael Anich
The Board of Supervisors' Finance Committee on Thursday approved a proposed five-year contract with Tech Valley Communications, based in the Capital Region, for metro ethernet services, which connects to both public internet as well as corporate sites. The full board will consider the contract Aug. 13.
The county in the last two years sold its former 176-bed Residential Health Care Facility to a private firm. It also has transferred services from the county's two former, Gloversville-based mental heath clinics to St. Mary's Healthcare in Amsterdam.
County Information Services Director Tony Basile told the committee that with privatization of these facilities, a rearrangement of the county's data network is necessary.
"We need to reconfigure the network," Basile stated. "We got rid of some locations."
Basile said the existing data network configuration is a hybrid network. He said the County Office Building, Services Complex and the county's Fort Johnstown Annex are connected by fiber-optic cable. He said remaining county locations - including the important Department of Social Services building - are connected via metro ethernet furnished by Frontier Communications. He said the Frontier contract already expired.
Basile said he was approached by Tech Valley Communications to see if the county would consider a quote for them to provide metro ethernet services. He said that firm will provide equivalent services. But he said another "major factor" in considering Tech Valley's proposal is the firm will build an entirely new fiber optic distribution network to all county government locations, including the Department of Solid Waste on Mud Road.
"We'll have fiber optic to everyone, including the landfill," Basile said.
Basile said a monthly comparison of the Tech Valley's and Frontier's costs also found Tech Valley less expensive than Frontier. The difference will save the county about $7,000 over the life of the contract. The total monthly expenses would be $5,115 for Tech Valley compared to $5,231 for Frontier.
The new contract with Tech Valley Communications probably won't be ready until late October or November, Basile said.