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Posted on: April 18, 2016

The Passaic County Freeholders Ratify Shared Services Agreements for Hi-Speed Internet

(Paterson, New Jersey) – At the April 12, 2016 meeting of the Passaic County Board of Chosen Freeholders two resolutions were unanimously approved authorizing shared services agreement between the County of Passaic and the Wanaque Board of Education and the County of Passaic and the City of Passaic authorizing both entities to utilize the County’s Private Fiber Optic Network. In 2006, partially through funding from the Department of Homeland Security, the County invested in the development of a private fiber optic network to consolidate communication services in a dark fiber network and protect Passaic County during emergencies. The private fiber optic network allows the County to offer hi-speed internet connectivity, email services, security cameras, offsite back-up and disaster recovery, and wireless hot spots at a fraction of the cost available on the private market.

“The County is offering to boards of education and municipalities the opportunity to not only tap into a private fiber optic network with hi-speed internet connectivity, but also to achieve significant savings for this service compared to what is being offered from private businesses in the open market,” stated Freeholder Director Theodore “TJ” Best. “We are actively shopping this service to local governments and school districts in the hopes that more entities come on board and realize the savings and services that can be offered by opting into the County’s private fiber optic network.”

The terms of the shared services agreements with both the City of Passaic and Wanaque Board of Education are the same, including the following key points:

• 5-year terms with the option to exercise a 5-year option on the Agreement.
• A $500/monthly maintenance fee that will be placed in a dedicated maintenance fund to maintain the fiber optic network.
• The County shall provide hi-speed internet services for various school district and municipal facilities, as outlined in more detail in individual agreements.

“This is the type of cooperation and sharing of resources across different levels of government that is so important as we all look to lower taxes and cut spending while maintaining vital public services,” stated Freeholder Deputy Director John W. Bartlett. “This private fiber network is an untapped resource for local governments and school districts and I hope this opens the floodgates for more municipalities and boards of educations to sign onto this initiative.”

“Moving to the county’s fiber optic network makes sense, and it saves money. It’s basically free Internet when you consider that the small monthly fee is dedicated to maintain the network. The county’s private network is also faster, safer, and more reliable for all our Internet communications,” said City of Passaic Mayor Alex Blanco.

For municipalities seeking more information on the private fiber network and the services offered by the County, please contact the Office of the County Administrator at (973) 881-4405.

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