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Grady County officials say they are counting down the days until the county can get out from under a five-year contract with Windstream Communications negotiated by former administrator Carlos Tobar.
On Tuesday, Grady County Administrator J.C. (Buddy) Johnson III, received the board’s blessing to execute a three-year agreement with CNS Next to provide telephone and internet service for county government beginning in February when the contract with Windstream expires.
The county also solicited a proposal from Mediacom, but Johnson said Mediacom’s proposal was “not in the ballpark” with CNS Next.
According to Johnson, the base charge with CNS Next for a year is almost equal to the monthly charge the county is paying to Windstream currently.
“We will be getting more service, a separated server and fiber to the courthouse. Overall, much better service at a much lower price,” Johnson said.
The administrator expressed his frustration that when the service goes out at the courthouse, all phones at all county facilities go out. He said the county’s service from Windstream was below par.
The county has also expressed interest in working with the City of Cairo to install fiber to the Grady County Sheriff’s Office at an additional fee.
Peggy Maddox, an 18-year veteran of CNS, told commissioners Tuesday that the system provided the county room to expand in the future. She said that CNS was waiving the fee for installation of fiber to the courthouse, which is a $3,500 value.
According to Johnson and Maddox, there are no up front charges.