Commissioners change internet, phone providers in effort to reduce service outages

YORK – The York County Commissioners have agreed to change the internet and phone providers for all the county offices – both in the courthouse and in outside locations – in an effort to reduce the number of service outages.

This past year saw numerous outages during which no offices had internet or phone, including the sheriff’s department. That’s when the county’s technology committee began talking about making the changes.

The tech committee, after months of conversations, recommended going with Allo and Unite to provide services. One company will serve the courthouse and outlying offices while the other will serve the sheriff’s department and 911 communications. In the instance there might be an outage in one area, the other service would kick in so service could never be completely interrupted.

This week, during the regular meeting of the county commissioners, Daniel Grotz (who sits on the technology committee) said they are recommending the contracts which include three-year contracts with Unite and another for a hosted phone service. He said there would be no term contract with Allo.

“Conversations were held with the IT team, department heads, everyone is on board,” Grotz said. “And the roads department is very ready as their phone system has not been updated in years and this will give them new capabilities. Marty Walters (who already works with the county on the emergency communications side) talked with the different offices and the response for the change has been very positive.”

It was noted that if the agreement was signed this week, the new phones, which would have otherwise cost about $20,000, will be included for free.

“Is there any guarantee that Allo, at some point, won’t change their fees?” asked Commissioner Jack Sikes who said he was personally not pleased with his personal agreement with Allo regarding television service. But it was reiterated that the county would not be using any television service.

“Well, that’s the problem with not having a contract with terms,” Grotz said. “I know the city has rolled onto Allo, I don’t know if they’ve experienced any jumps in rates.”

“We will have to deal with that if it comes up,” said Commissioner Randy Obermier. “But the speed and reliability seems to be the right way to go.”

“I have great respect for Woody’s (the late Commissioner Ziegler) expertise in this and if he was for this, I will vote yes,” said Sikes.

It was also noted Walters would be the project manager on this project.

The commissioners voted in favor of moving forward.

 

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