Commissioners Tony Amadio, Sandie Egley, Dan Camp, and County Solicitor Garen Fedeles / photo by John Paul

County Commissioners have changed their minds and will not be allowing a new internet service provider to house equipment in the county’s 911 Center after all, according to multiple county officials who spoke on condition they not be quoted by name.

During their public work session on June 8th the Commissioners tentatively approved a proposal by GoNetspeed — a fiber optic internet service provider out of New York City — to house equipment in the 911 Center in exchange for providing free internet access to the facility. The county’s Information Technology Department suggested that allowing the company to co-locate equipment in the county’s emergency services building would enable it to compete with Comcast, possibly leading to lower priced internet service in the area.

A source in county government says an article published by the Beaver Countian generated a significant number of comments from the public which “raised concerns not initially thought of by the Board,” and that Commissioners now plan to “let the proposal by GoNetspeed die on the vine in the [county’s] law department.”

“[The Board] initially saw the proposal by GoNetspeed as a money saving opportunity for the county budget,” said the official. “[The Board] has come to realize that allowing the use of the emergency operations center for private commercial purposes would be unwise.”

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John Paul
John Paul is the founder of the Beaver Countian. He reports full-time for the site, specializing in investigative journalism with an emphasis on public corruption.

39 COMMENTS

  1. The Commissions shouldn’t use anonymous people to let every body know they thought some more and decided they’re wrong they should be proud and say it thereselves. It’s OK to change your mind I wish more people we vote for would.

     
  2. Good: giving a startup company access to everyone’s data, the system, etc seemed like a risky proposition or potential breach of security to me. What if a firewall failed and the system went down, and they didn’t have the resources to correct it? Again, it just seemed risky

     
  3. “[The Board] has come to realize that allowing the use of the emergency operations center for private commercial purposes would be unwise.”

    You think? I can’t believe this was even considered!

     
  4. So it took people commenting on the Beaver Countian for them to realize that this was not such a good idea… One has to wonder that if John Paul had not have written the initial article if they would’ve come to that conclusion on their own? Doubt it! And then why is it that they can’t stand up and say themselves that they rethought the decision ( after people commented on this site )… John Paul has to hear it through anonymous sources…
    Thank goodness for the Beaver Countian and John Paul to keep them on their toes!

     
  5. As they were initially agreeing on the proposal I am sure they had their calculators out figuring how much money they would save from the kickback. Then………..Whammy!!!!!!! Oh you JP.

    Foiled again.

     
  6. It is good to have a private/public partnership. It’s done at all levels of government. Once again, Beaver Co misses the boat. Sad that the county won’t progress.

     
    • @Tim Cassidy…..You obviously own or are in possession of some type of electronic device which allowed you to comment here! You ask if ” anyone have information on the company “.

      Answer……..utilize said electronic device and type in…..Google, bing, duck duck go.etc…and guess what happens?!?
      Yep you guessed it..all the information you need right at your fingrertips! Wow who would a thunked it???

       
    • Exactly Tim…. same thing the county could have done but they want to continue doing business like it was done in the 90’s.

       
  7. THIS is WHY we need educated, worldly individuals in office!!
    Not some podunks with a High School diploma!
    (Like Michael Rossi running for State rep- sheesh!!)

     
  8. Comcast does need competition, but I do agree that mixing private business with our emergency services could cause serious issues down the line.
    Getting emergency services when you need them is more important than lowering your internet bill.

     
  9. GoNetspeed is a start-up fiber-optic Internet provider targeting both business and residences. Although we are headquartered in Rochester, NY, our first market to deliver service is going to be the Pittsburgh area. We already have 3 employees hired in Pennsylvania to serve the market, plan to use local contractors and other personnel to help us deliver service in the area, and hopefully become a larger part of the community by getting involved in local events when appropriate.
    Our proposal to Beaver County was to simply co-locate our equipment in the 911 center while providing it with free Internet access. We would not be accessing any data or records within the 911 center, nor would we be tied directly into any government systems. We simply would’ve been providing them connectivity similar to what we would do for any of our customers.
    Our founders are 30+ year veterans of the telecommunications and cable industries, and combined have built more than 30,000 miles of fiber throughout the country over the last decade. We are still pursuing a local location to house equipment so we can provide business and residences with high-speed Internet access. We’ve already generated enough consumer interest in the area to begin plans to offer a cost-effective alternative, along with greater speeds currently available today in Beaver County, by the end of September.

     
    • If the founders of GoNetSpeed one day sell the company, it may eventually end up being owned by principals with which the county may not feel comfortable. Those subsequent owners, and their employees and agents, would have the right to physically access the 911 center as assignees of the contract which has been proposed to the commissioners. The county would have to trust that no such subsequently involved parties would attempt a surreptitious physical tie-in to the government systems. Moreover, as hacking technology advances, there may come a day when the mere physical proximity of a hacking device, absent any physical link, would be enough to compromise the targeted systems.

      As explained in several of the posts above, there is nothing “simply” entailed when it comes to installing high tech ISP equipment in a given physical location.

      I wish GoNetSpeed success in its stated endeavor to bring faster Internet access to Beaver County. However, the vital workings of the county’s 911 center rule out the possibility of it being utilized for commercial enterprise.

       
      • and seeing that heritage valley med center has just been hacked…. makes you wonder the horror of it happening to the 911 center…what chaos…

         
    • then why can’t you come up with a better location than the 911 center? and by the way, these folks are doing an important job, saving lives, and shouldn’t even be ON the internet. the can get all that for on their personal SMART PHONES. duh

       
    • Then do what every other startup does and rent the space you need. Making your entry into this market contingent on someone giving you space tells me you are either seriously underfunded or your founders don’t have the slightest clue how to run a business.

       
  10. If there is a way to save some tax dollars, the Democrats will be against it.
    All they wanted was space, not your mother’s maiden name
    As A. Einstein said.. “Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I’m not sure about the former”

     

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