County Council signs off on telecommunications agreement

The Pierce County Council at its May 18 meeting passed an ordinance granting a non-exclusive wireline telecommunications franchise to WANRack, LLC, for a private fiber wide-area network for use by the Peninsula School District.

WANRack is a Delaware company with headquarters in Lenexa, Kansas. The company specializes in custom built private fiber Wide Area Networks for K-12 schools.

“They’ve been a very responsive company,” Pierce County engineer Brian Stacy said of working with WANRack in preparing for the council’s approval of the franchise. “We anticipate good things as they go out and provide the fiber we’re talking about. So, I’m excited that once we get through the formalities of the franchise — that that in fact happens — we’ve got a good jump start to get them where they need to be.”

The Peninsula School District applied for and was awarded funding through the E-Rate program. The Schools and Libraries Program — commonly known as “E-Rate” — provides discounts of up to 90 percent to help eligible schools and libraries in the United States obtain affordable telecommunications and Internet access, according to the Department of Education.

The network will give the district a dedicated fiber network with the ability to increase bandwidth as the district’s needs grow.

The other major piece of legislation passed by the council was an ordinance amending the Pierce County Code establishing a process for setting and adjusting fees at Pierce County’s two airports: Thun Field and the Tacoma Narrows Airport.

Finally, the council passed a series of resolutions proclaiming the following: May 16 through May 23 as “National Public Works Week” in Pierce County; and designating June 2021 as “Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Month” in Pierce County; and declaring June to be “Orca Awareness Month.”


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