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Tuesday, April 13, 2004
Georgia: "A network of one's own"
"When Georgia's Douglas County School System needed a communications upgrade recently, administrators took a radical step that's increasingly raising the hackles of telecommunications giants: They built their own high-capacity fiber network."
"Getting local provider BellSouth to upgrade the old network would have cost-millions of dollars. What's more, the school system would still have had to pay recurring charges for services related to the network. The administrators decided that by owning the equipment and taking a do-it-yourself approach, the school system could dramatically boost performance and also save money for the county's 30 Atlanta-area schools."
"So far, their math appears to be working out. For a total cost of $2.2-million (U.S.) and a year's worth of work, Douglas County traded its old 1.5 megabit per second leased system for a brand-new 10 gigabit per second network — enough capacity to consider selling the excess for a profit. The new network, which is capable of carrying everything from voice to video to data, has also eliminated roughly $320,000 per year in recurring data communication charges, according to administrators."