That is literally what the City of Calhoun is doing.
After the city council was briefed by the Telecommunications Department Manager Brad Carrick, the city will be receiving new, and much needed network switch replacements.
When Carrick addressed the city council, he noted key problems with the current network switches.
He said that the existing Intel Network is 14 years old and that the manufacturer’s support ended in the early 2000s. His main concern was that if the switches were not replaced, then the city could be facing problems ahead.
“The current switches are not supported by the latest technology,” explained Carrick. “We have also used all of the remaining supply of spare switches; it needs to be replaced.”
Carrick’s solution is to replace the old switches with more up-to-date technology with alcatel-lucent switches.
“There are a lot of good switches out there,” explained Carrick, “but with these, the operating system is the same as what we currently have and are trained to use.”
The telecommunications department sent out a bevy of requests to gain information on the best, most affordable switches for the city; Pinnacle Networx was the only respondent who agreed to supply the switches for an agreed cost of $149, 001.70.
The city’s budget calls for $100,000 in contingency, which leaves the city short $49,000 for the replacement switches.
According to City Administrator Eddie Peterson, the additional money will come from the electric reserves.
“It’s used for things that pop up,” explained Peterson. “You can account for a lot of things that may happen, but sometimes something happens and it needs to be covered.”
Carrick said that the Telecommunications Department also has reserves, and believes that the spare money could come from their reserves instead.
Once the process is underway, the financial decision will be made.
The new replacements will include 26 switches, backup power supplies, fiber optic drivers, spares, management software and setup and installation.
The replacement switches will have a 100 times faster network backbone, and will have a 10 times faster connection for every computer, according to Carrick.
However, the faster network will only apply to city infrastructure, not residential areas.
Since the governing body approved of the replacement during the last city council meeting, Carrick will now begin the process of switching over the network.
Carrick said that it would take about one week to order and process the switches, three-to-four weeks for equipment delivery, three weeks for programming and testing, one week to pre-install, and one plus days to switch over.
Carrick said that he hopes the whole process will be completed by June.