Lubbock School District to Build Fiber Network


Lubbock Independent School District will deploy a fiber-optic network to connect campuses and offices. The school district looks to end its contract with AT&T after the Internet provider wanted to charge significantly more for the exact same services. By building its own fiber-optic networks, the school district can lower its connectivity charges.

The district had been paying roughly $330,000 annually during its three-year contract with AT&T. The service provider wanted to “quadruple” its rates when the school approached for renewal of services. Tue school district started exploring other options, and eventually, a proposal came to build its own network that will remove the dependency of the school for network infrastructure.

The school board approved renewing its contract with AT&T for just one more year, paying roughly $577,000, which is equivalent to 72 percent more, for the same services. During the one year period, the school will try to finish the construction of its own fiber infrastructure. The network will be constructed by Unite Private Network.

The school district reviewed nine bids, including one from AT&T Corp., before choosing Unite Private Network, which will construct a $4.1 million dedicated wide-area network. Eighty percent of the multi-million-dollar project will be paid for using federal funding made available through an E-rate program. Trustees on Thursday approved paying the remaining 20 percent, up to $829,000, for construction costs. Annual service costs will be $227,940.

Discussions are in progress to see if the state can fund 10 percent of the project, or $415,000. If the state approves funding the project, the federal government will match that amount, paying the remaining 10 percent to make the construction costs for the fiber network at no cost to the district.

Unite Private Networks, the company selected for deployment, provides high-bandwidth, fiber-based communications networks and services to schools, governments, carriers, data centers, hospitals, and enterprise business customers across a 20 state service area. Service offerings include dark and lit fiber, private line, optical Ethernet, Internet access, data center services, and other customized solutions. Headquartered in Kansas City, MO, we have been providing customer-focused communications solutions since 1998.

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