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Posts tagged: wi-fi

Luna Has Friends’ Backs, Vice Versa

It doesn't get much cozier than this. Education Networks of America would not have a five- to 15-year contract to install WiFi in Idaho's high schools were it not for state school Superintendent Tom Luna. Now that Luna is in trouble over the deal, ENA is returning the favor and surrendering one of the most lucrative features of the arrangement - a fixed rate that guaranteed the company the same $2.11 million a year regardless of how many high schools signed up. Instead, it will bill only for services delivered - a change that could deduct more than $225,000 from ENA's profits. “In my mind, what they've done is totally changed the terms of the contract,” retired purchasing agent Scott Sherman told the Spokesman-Review's Betsy Russell. Sherman handled purchasing matters for Philips Petroleum when it ran the Idaho National Laboratory near Idaho Falls/Marty Trillhaase, Lewiston Tribune. More here.

Question: Do rank-and-file Republicans still support Luna?

Luna’s WiFi Contract Is A Mess

Idaho lawmakers are pressuring state schools superintendent Tom Luna to rework the terms of a Wi-Fi contract he stubbornly authorized in July, but the larger questions of why this deal was done remain unanswered. Lawmakers were stunned when they learned that Luna was about to commit the state to a multiyear contract with renewal options for up to 15 years, at a potential price tag of $33 million. Many legislators didn’t know about the impending deal until contacted by a Spokesman-Review reporter. About the best that can be said of this mess is that public officials may be reluctant to procure services this way again/Spokesman-Review Editorial Board. More here.

Question: Is there anything left to be said of the way Superintendent Tom Luna handled the contract for Wi-Fi services with campaign donor Education Networks of America?

Wi-Fi: How ENA Landed Contract

On Wednesday, we broke the story that Education Networks of America landed the controversial multiyear high school WiFi contract, even though four bidders beat the company’s price. The takeaway on what happened: The nine people who reviewed the 10 bids gave ENA a decided — and decisive — edge for experience and technology. The committee docked the company only slightly for a middle-of-the-pack cost proposal. Now, let’s take a little deeper dive into the documents that explain the process. Under the state public records act, Idaho Education News obtained the “scoring documents” used by the nine-member technical committee that reviewed the bids — and unanimously supported ENA’s proposal/Kevin Richert, The EDge, IdahoED News. More here.'

Thoughts?

4 Bidders Beat ENI ‘Winning’ Wi-Fi Bid

The state Education Department received 10 bids for its controversial high school WiFi contract — and four bids were less expensive than the winning bid. Education Networks of America‘s price tag — $2,111,655 for the first year, $10,558,275 over five years — was by no means the most expensive bid for the project. But a Twin Falls company, Tek-Hut Inc., submitted two bids that beat the Nashville, Tenn.-based company on price. Tek-Hut was the low bidder on the project, according to documents obtained by Idaho Education News on Wednesday under the state’s Public Records Act. The Education Department released the “scoring documents” used by the nine-person review committee, which voted unanimously to award the WiFi contract to ENA/Kevin Richert, The EDge, IdahoEd News. More here.

Question: Curiouser & curiouser?

Wi-Fi Deal: State Downplays Error

When the state Education Department went out for bids on the controversial WiFi installation project, the department issued a list of 333 schools that could qualify for the service. It turns out that the state’s own list was inaccurate — inflated, by roughly one-third. But the list was just an estimate, Education Department spokeswoman Melissa McGrath said Tuesday, and bidders were cautioned not to use it for detailed cost estimates. The state issued the WiFi contract to Education Networks of America last month. First-year costs will run $2.11 million, less than the $2.25 million budgeted by the Legislature — but the contract could potentially run 15 years and cost the state $33.3 million/Kevin Richert, The EDge, IdahoEd News. More here.

Thoughts?

Poll: Luna Will Hire On w/Onliner

  • Thursday Poll: 39 of 84 respondents (46.43%) say Superintendent of Schools Tom Luna will hire on with a WiFi or online company rather than seek re-election. Another 18 (21.43%) said Luna won't seek re-election. 17 (20.24%) expect him to run for a third term. 10 (11.9%) were undecided.
  • Today's Poll: Which is the best job for Congressman Raul Labrador?

Hi-Noon: Starbucks Finally Going Wi-Fi

Finally! Starbucks is finally going to provide free wi-fi service at its beaucoup shops around the nation. On Facebook, Cindy re-posted a link about the move that ‘ll take place July 1. You can read it here (scroll down). Why did I use one of the few exclamation points in my literary arsenal? I spent an hour-plus last summer at a Starbucks near the Portland airport, trying to use the finicky AT&T system that requires occasional users who aren’t registered to pay for a phone card that may or may not work. Mine didn’t (despite being refunded a second card). And I didn’t get my money back. I’ve never had such problems at Java on Fourth. ‘Tis nice to see a trend-setter like Starbucks finally catching up with the other coffee shops.

Question: When and where did you last use wi-fi at a place other than your home?

Spokane Wi-Fi Going Way Of Dodo

For the past six years people have referred to it as Spokane’s HotZone. Within a year or so, it could be the Spokane HotZone Museum. City and business leaders started the free wireless Wi-Fi area in 2004, eventually creating a 100-square-block area across downtown Spokane. Today the zone is on its last legs. People can find the signal most of the time, but frequently it’s a weak Internet connection. That is, when they even bother looking for the signal at all. In today’s mobile-device world, the idea of a wide-area metro wireless area has largely fallen into the technology irrelevance pile/Tom Sowa, SR. More here. (SR Photo)

Question: How often do you use wi-fi? Where do you use it?

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About this blog

D.F. Oliveria is a columnist and blogger for The Spokesman-Review. Print Huckleberries is a past winner of the Herb Caen Memorial Column contest by the National Association of Newspaper Columnists. The Readership Institute of Northwestern University cited this blog as a good example of online community journalism.

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