Wyoming Equality Network Additional Information






Flint Waters, State Chief Information Officer




Wyoming Equality Network (WEN) - Additional Information




December 10, 2013




Tony Young, Deputy Chief of Staff, Office of the Governor

Rich Crandall, Director, Department of Education


On December 1, 2013, ETS received a request for additional information regarding the Wyoming Equality Network (WEN). Below are the individual questions received with a brief response as directed.

  1. A short, lay summary of what the State and school districts have received from each of the prior WEN-related appropriations, i.e., what assets does the State now own, have depreciated, did the State receive services, etc.

  • On the Wyoming State Auditor's website, the Department of Education (WDE) reports $998,479.23 of capitalized equipment purchased over the years they managed the WEN (a combination of general funds and school foundation funds).  This equipment is now depreciated with the exception of  $7,749.49. It should be noted, much of the hardware purchased by the WDE would be in the form of the prior contract with vendors and would likely not appear as typical purchase items. Further, we have been told the WEN had to be supplemented through spending of E-Rate reimbursement dollars not likely reflected in this or other recent reports.

  • Since the WEN was transferred to ETS, we have purchased $241,671.95 worth of networking equipment. This equipment is not significantly depreciated.  

  • The services received are in the form of circuit leases and support costs.

  1. A short, lay summary of the future direction of any additional appropriations for a statewide network benefiting K-12 and a statement of the long-term goal;

  • Simply put, the Unified Network project is about leveraging the State’s education and government broadband demands to promote the growth of capacity for all of Wyoming and enhance private investment in broadband infrastructure without fear of the State as competition. We are a customer, working alongside communities and businesses to justify future infrastructure enhancements by private businesses with an opportunity for return on investment from the over 800 State sites.

  • It is our design intention to provide sustainable, high capacity Internet access for schools to ensure stable service even during extreme use periods, like simultaneous standardized testing.

  • Currently, we are increasing capacity for schools throughout Wyoming, but we still have a significant single point of failure for this network. All circuits currently terminate in Cheyenne creating a significant chokepoint.

  • Several years ago a single failure point caused the Executive Branch to lose Internet connectivity for many weeks. These design limitations are now in place for the WEN. Moving to high speed ethernet connections with redundant routes will dramatically reduce the risk of downtime for our students.

  1. The current (FY13-14) on-going, annual (maintenance, contract, replacement) costs of the existing system; and

  • The budgeted amount to fund the WEN for FY13-14 totaled $14,178,159.00 (does not include any salary costs). Through our new contract agreements, we anticipate a reduction in this amount of over $1,000,000 per year, if no further changes were made. The budgeted costs fall in the following categories:

    • Circuit Costs $13,610,401.00

    • Equipment Costs $18,845.00

    • Maintenance Contracts $543,890.00

    • Travel Costs $5,023.00

  1. How the Governor’s recommendation alters the on-going, annual costs of any new/modified system.

The following are on-going annual costs, that would be incurred solely due to the move to the higher speed Unified Network:

  • Increased annual circuit costs for 100Gb backbone - $3.4 million biennial

    • This cost would be offset by the $2 million savings listed above

  • Increased annual maintenance costs for enhanced equipment - $205,578.00 biennial

There are other additional equipment replacement costs that are on-going, but not annual. The equipment would be replaced every four to six years depending on use and serviceability:

  • Core Routers - $210,000.00

  • Non Core Routers - $97,500.00

  • Router Interface Cards - $585,000.00

  • Server and Infrastructure Items - $364,500.00 (UPS’s, switching equipment, etc.)


A briefing was provided to the Select Committee on Legislative Technology and Process providing greater details on the Unified Network project.