So you think YOUR Internet connection is slow? County switches service from Windstream to Charter

By Kathryn Jones

Editor

Somervell County is switching from the slow lane on the information superhighway to the fast lane.

Mark Woolverton, the county’s IT director, Monday told the Somervell County Commissioners Court that its current Internet service provider, Windstream Communications, is not providing the speed and bandwidth the county needs. Windstream has provided Internet service to the county for 10 years.

“The service is lacking,” Woolverton said.

The county has completed a fiber optic line project linking the school district, hospital and county offices and now has a fiber line that can use Charter Communications’ high-speed cable Internet service.

The pricing is comparable, Woolverton added. Service from Charter will cost the county $695.20 a month.

“We’ll get three times the speed we had,” Woolverton noted.

County Judge Mike Ford said the county was “running out of options” because of bandwidth issues with Windstream. Meetings were held between county officials and Windstream, which made promises about service that did not materialize, he added.

Woolverton added that Charter has guaranteed a speed of 20 megabits per second up and down, while Windstream told the county it would receive three megabits up and down. But once a user gets outside of Glen Rose, Windstream’s speed drops off, he said.

To lock in the rate, the county will enter into a five-year contract with Charter. Because the county goes through an annual budgeting process, the contract will include language that the agreement is contingent on funding being available.

County Commissioner John Curtis questioned whether the infrastructure was in place to make the switch between Internet providers without downtime.

Woolverton responded that “everything is in ┬áplace.”

Curtis moved that the county approve the contract with Charter. Commissioner Kenneth Wood seconded the motion.

The change is expected to take effect sometime after the county gives Windstream 30 days’ notice.

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