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Back Local News PDS activates 1Gbps wide area network service for schools

PDS activates 1Gbps wide area network service for schools

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PACIFIC Data Systems yesterday announced the activation of its 1-gigabit-per-second wide area network (WAN) service for all public schools under a two-year-old contract with the Guam Department of Education. The contract is currently being challenged by GTA TeleGuam.

PDS President John Day said the company’s new service provides ultra high-speed data connections linking Guam’s 40 public schools to the education department’s main data center.

Day said Pacific Data Systems completed the 1Gbps service activations for 30 out of 40 schools by the first day of classes and had the remaining schools done by Aug. 23.

“The new gigabit speed WAN service provided by PDS is based on fiber optic technology which PDS is using to replace existing older copper phone line-based technology that had limited capacity and lower data capacities,” a press release from PDS said. “The new PDS fiber optic circuits offer a 100x increase in data capacity between the schools and the main GDOE data center.”

Protest

The announcement came amid GTA’s protest filed with GDOE on Friday, alleging Pacific Data Systems failed to deliver the WAN capacity specified in the bidding.

GTA is asking the education department to terminate its WAN contract signed with Pacific Data Systems in 2011, claiming it was awarded despite the non-availability of E-rate funding and the company’s ineligibility for the program.

In response, Day said, “All of the services provided by PDS to GDOE (both past and current) qualify for reimbursement under the federal E-rate program designed to encourage and support greater use of technology in K-12 schools.”

He dismissed GTA’s protest as “untimely and terminally flawed,” noting that the failed bidder was seeking to undo a procurement that has already been in place “for the sole purpose of attempting” to get “a second chance at a bid that it already lost.”

Delays

GTA, in its protest, took PDS to task for failure to deliver the WAN service to schools, which was supposed to begin July 1, 2011.

The contract was awarded in May 2011, but according to Day, project commencement was derailed by the permitting process.

“Working with GDOE to make gigabit speeds a reality for the school children of Guam as they start a new school year has been both a challenge and rewarding experience for our company,” Day said.

He said Pacific Data Systems did not get the requested permits until June this year.

“Delays related to providing the 1Gbps services to GDOE schools were caused by the issuance of required government permits to install new fiber optic facilities to GDOE schools. This situation was outside of both GDOE’s and PDS’ control,” he said.

Allowed by law

GTA’s attorney Serge Quenga said the protest was on information provided by the department on Aug. 16 this year in response to the company’s Sunshine Act request.

“GDOE Procurement Regulation 9.2.3 and 5 Guam Code Annotated, Section 5425(a) enables a bidder to protest a contract that has already been in place,” GTA Executive VP Dan Tydingco said in an earlier email to Variety.

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