Guam – Department of Education Superintendent Jon Fernandez admits that the internet connectivity in Guam’s public schools is not as fast as what the department has asked for.
“The truth is that we are not running at the speeds that we would like to,” Fernandez told PNC. “But the vendor under the current contract is being compensated for the level of speed that is provided.”
The service from Pacific Data Systems is criticized in a letter to Public Auditor Doris Flores Brooks by GTA Teleguam asking that an audit and review of services be done on several contracts to various GovGuam agencies. In the letter GTA claims that PDS has been providing services that do not meet bid requirements in DOE’s case making the department ineligible for E-Rate reimbursements from the federal government.
PDS President John Day says his company is working to deliver the 1 gigabyte speed that DOE has asked for but has run into delays upgrading infrastructure
“In the existing facilities today at the schools are copper facilities,” Day explains. “Our plan was to put in new facilities to each of the schools that are based on fiber optic technology that technology allows us to deliver 1 gigabyte capacity but it also requires us to do construction and to install these new facilities into each of the facilities around the island.”
But the contract will be two years old come July, so what has taken PDS so long to upgrade the facilities? Day claims that the department of public works has been slow to issue permits
“We’ve been pursuing that process for almost I would say 18 months or so,” Day told PNC. “To this day we don’t have the permit.”
But its not just PDS’ service to DOE that GTA claims is poor, the letter to the Office of Public Accountability also questions service to GHURA on an existing local network, internet and voice services contract and several other telecommunications contracts for GovGuam agencies.
With GHURA Day says PDS once again had to upgrade capabilities but he says GHURA is getting the service contracted today. Day also says to consider where the complaints are coming from.
“GTA is a potential service provider, the agencies aren’t the ones complaining,” Day said.