EL Board of Ed Approves Contract with Fiberlink
The East Lansing Board of Education approved a one-year contract with FiberLink, Inc. for fiber infrastructure maintenance in an amount not to exceed $45,000. The vote to approve this expenditure came during a special meeting on Monday, July 23, 2018.
This approved contract is what allows the East Lansing Public Schools to receive its internet service through an ISD consortium that comes into the high school and is then rerouted across the fiber to every school building in the district.
Since ELPS has owned a portion of the fiber cable since it was built in the 90s, they were required under the construction of the new Montgomery Drain Project to relocate the buried fiber so that construction of the new basin could run smoothly.
According to ELPS Board of Education member Hillary Henderson, the Board was looking for bids on this relocation project and FiberLink came in with the lowest bid, which they were required to take based on Board policy.
Considering the potential for a high cost to relocate the fiber, the board also applied for an E-Rate federal funding (an annual function) that is specifically tailored for fiber maintenance. The E-Rate would cover approx. 50% of any fiber maintenance work for this calendar year.
“We estimated an annual expenditure of $45,000 and E-Rate would cover 50 percent. The Montgomery Drain project cost us around $22,000, of which we will pay 50 percent and the federal E-Rate program will cover the other 50 percent,” said East Lansing School Director of Technology & Media Services, Christian Palasty.
Henderson added that the change affects students and teachers in the District on a day to day basis with being able to access and use the internet throughout the District. If they had not gone through with the funding, ELPS would have lost access to the fiber infrastructure.
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