Hays USD 489 will continue to contract with Eagle Communications Inc. to provide E-Rate Internet service.

The board of education voted last week to accept Eagle's bid of $5,950 per month for three years.

Total cost for Internet service will be $71,000 annually or $214,000 for the three year contract.

"We do this every three years for district wide Internet usage," said Brian Drennon, USD 489 technology director.

Eagle has been the district's Internet provider for more than 10 years, Travis Kohlrus, general manager of the broadband division, said in his presentation to the board.

"It's your equipment and network. Eagle provides the structure," he said.

The Eagle bid included dedicated fiber which is important for security and performance, Kohlrus said.

Nex-Tech also submitted a bid of $6,395 per month. It is not dedicated fiber, according to the agenda item cover sheet.

E-Rate is a federal program providing schools who meet certain criteria to get discounts for technology. It is funded through a universal service fee paid by companies providing interstate and/or international telecommunication services.

The E-Rate program has four categories -- telecommunications, Internet, internal connections for the neediest schools and basic maintenance of internal connections for the neediest schools.

The contract with Eagle falls into the second category, Internet.

The board also approved naming Alan Wamser, systems engineer supervisor at Hays Medical Center, as a member of the technology committee. Wamser replaces Brian Drennon, who recently was named USD 489 technology director. Drennon will continue to meet with the committee in that capacity.