Community Blog: The EDge

The WiFi deal: Several bidders beat winning contractor on price

The state Education Department received 10 bids for its controversial high school WiFi contract — including four that 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.

These documents do not offer a detailed cost breakdown. However, they do reveal a wide gap in price, as bidders vied for the job of installing WiFi service in up to 249 junior and senior high schools statewide.

For more details, here’s a link to my Idaho Education News story.

Kevin Richert is a reporter and blogger at Idaho Education News (idahoednews.org). Kevin is a former Statesman editorial page editor, with 27 year's experience in Idaho journalism.

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