During Monday's Nolan County Commissioners meeting, Mark Mims and Les Sanderson with Balatize, LLC made a presentation on the possibility of providing the Courthouse and new jail with internet service.
The company develops networks and provides high-speed connectivity needed in the area. Founded in August 2013, Balatize went live on February 1st of this year.
Mims serves as president, with Sanderson as the CTO and secretary. The company has local investors and serves 50 clients and businesses, including Midwest Finance, EC&M, Smartt Move Trucking and Ludlum Measurements.
With the new technology offered by Balatize for wireless connection, the company felt like this may be an opportunity for the county to take advantage of.
Costs were laid out, in which 50 Mbps (Mega bits per second) for a direct connection from the Courthouse to the jail for five year would be around $150,000. The total was established in that each connection would cost around $1,250, resulting in $2,500 per month over the span of 60 months.
However, the initial estimate presented by the company would be a 30 by 30 connection to the Courthouse at $995 per month. By also keeping their services with Suddenlink at a combined total of $358 per month, the total monthly cost of $1,353 would lead to $16,236 per year, resulting in around $81,180 over five years.
The company boasts a "redundant connection", which would still keep access going--although not as fast--while under maintenance. With the initial estimate made by the company, with the redundant connection, connectivity would only be down for around 8 hours per year.
The case for a wireless connection was made in that 80% of fiber optic failure is due to cuts made during construction and repair times can typically last from 8 to 14 hours. The possibility of connection for the Courthouse and new jail were shown, with two alternate paths projected.
Several questions were also posed by the company, regarding tower height, expectations of the company, if the county would be willing to spend that amount of money, and the possibility of developing a formal proposal to the county.
No action was taken on the matter, but a representative with Your Way Computer Tech Team was at the meeting and stated that the 30 by 30 connection would be adequate, would be beneficial for any type of video visitation from the courthouse to the jail, and would be more secure.