Virginia to create statewide network

Virginia is set to award an estimated $120 million to $150 million contract

to WorldCom to consolidate five state networks into one, which will provide

some of the most advanced technologies to state agencies.

Secretary of Technology Donald Upson announced May 11 the state's intention

to award the contract. Mike Thomas, director of the Department of Information

Technology, said WorldCom would begin to implement the network in June,

although some of the services will not be available for six months.

The speed of the backbone network will increase from T-1 or OC-3 (45

megabits/sec) to OC-12 (622 megabits/sec). The new system will offer Digital

Subscriber Line technology statewide and Fast Frame Relay service. All services

will be priced equally statewide.

"People will see increased access to government services through the

Internet and an increase in efficiency in state government with this in

place," Thomas said. "If your infrastructure is not up to speed, your access

to technology, the Internet and internal communication will be slow."

With a faster network, the state will be able to offer more features

including "Click and Connect," which allows citizens to contact a person

at a state agency through the agency's World Wide Web site, and unified

messaging, which merges e-mail and voice mail into one process, allowing

employees to retrieve e-mail through the voice mail system or vice versa.

Thomas said the network would save $40 million over five years by reducing

long-distance voice and data costs. He said the cost of the contract could

go up over the years, as use increases, even though the price may go down.

REPORT CARD

"WorldCom awards grants for community partnerships" [civic.com NewsFeed, May 24, 2000]

"Colorado to create statewide high-speed network" [civic.com News Feed,May 4, 2000]

BY Daniel Keegan
May 25, 2000

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