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Wadena County Commissioners: Switching phone companies, enforcing old ordinance


by Trinity Gruenberg

The Wadena County Commissioners held their regular meeting on August 13.

Wadena County Voice and Data Connection

IT Director David Hotchkiss, along with Josh Pearson of West Central Telephone Association (WCTA), explained that Wadena County is in a contract with their current telephone voice provider through November 22, 2019.

The current monthly bill is $2,137 ($25,644 a year) and does not provide internet, or the ability to offer service to the local police department via direct connected fiber.

Hotchkiss recommended partnering with WCTA. It would cut the phone bill by $696 a month, and it would also add internet connection to the server at the Wadena County Highway building. It would allow them the potential to extend the county network and the law enforcement network. It would cost $17,287 yearly, saving the county $8356.

Currently, their internet is running through Minnesota IT Services (MNIT) with  a  restriction  of a 200 mbps connection. Law enforcement 911 circuits use this connection. If they lose this connection, 911 also goes down. If this were to happen, 911 is routed through Todd and Douglas counties for back up.

Hotchkiss proposed transitioning from the current vendor to WCTA. The existing provider is not in Sebeka, Menahga or Verndale. Changing to WCTA would allow them to extend the network to those areas. It would benefit law enforcement using their criminal justice network. . . . 

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