Virginia to create statewide network
- By Daniel Keegan
- May 25, 2000
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.