Va. to create statewide network
- By Daniel Keegan
- Jun 03, 2000
Virginia is awarding an estimated $120 million to $150 million contract
to WorldCom Inc. (formerly MCI WorldCom) to consolidate five state networks
into one, which will provide some of the most advanced technologies to state
Donald Upson, the state's secretary of technology, 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.
Backbone network speed will increase from T-1 (45 megabits/sec) to OC-12
(622 megabits/sec). The new system will offer Digital Subscriber Line technology
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 during five years by
reducing long-distance voice and data costs. He said the cost of the contract
could go up as use increases, even though the price may go down.