YORK – The York County Commissioners are considering making changes when it comes to the providers of internet and phone services for all the county departments.
The county’s technology committee has been meeting about this matter for a while and some proposals came forward this past week when the commissioners met in regular session.
The discussion began when internet outages resulted in obvious loss of internet service but also phone service, in all areas of the courthouse including at the sheriff’s department and emergency communications.
Commissioner Daniel Grotz said the technology committee met with the county’s technology team, department heads, IT providers and a project consultant over the last couple of months. They also spoke with a number of providers and looked “at different directions in order to have the best services possible in place. As we did this, we came up with a plan to move to Allo for the courthouse and other departments and then Unite for a secondary service for the sheriff’s department and emergency communications. So if one side of the courthouse’s services went down, the service from the other side would roll over and vice versa.”
Therefore, by using two different internet/phone service providers, if one would ever go out, the other would take over and service would never be lost.
“If we decide to take the leap on this project, we will need to employ project manager services,” Grotz said, as this would be a substantial undertaking.
There was discussion about the frustration experienced during past outages, the lack of services it creates and the amount of load needed to run all the systems necessary to keep county business moving.
Marty Walter with Central States Telecommunications, who already works with the county on the emergency side, talked about the periods of internet downtime experienced in the courthouse over the past two years. He said the county’s current provider’s quality of service has gone down and other companies haven’t necessarily improved their service but have increased their prices. He said the plan of using Allo for the courthouse and outside offices – and then Unite for the YSO and 911 services – would “allow for redundancy and security. I haven’t seen an outage with Unite in 15 years” and he felt Allo’s services were exceptional. “Granted, if you ask me to find a perfect communication company, there aren’t any.”
He explained how with the new plan, even if the electrical power was out, communication systems would still be running. “This would provide a lot of flexibility you don’t have now,” Walter said to the commissioners. “There would also be call recording capabilities the sheriff’s department has asked about.”
The new system would also provide special security features for all departments, including those not located in the courthouse.
“The technology committee is recommending going this route,” Grotz said.
The commissioners will take a vote in the matter at their next meeting, as it was only a discussion item for this particular agenda.