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Letter: Wilton's Fiber Optic Plan Is Out-of-Date Idea

WILTON, Conn. - The following is a letter from Wilton resident Steve Roberts about the town's plan of implementing a fiber optic cable system.

Dear Board of Selectmen,

The proposed Fiber Optic Shared Network Plan flies in the face of two massive trends in technology:

• dramatic reductions in the cost of bandwidth and memory; and• outsourced data centers and cloud-based solutions.

None of the public documents or the BVH study start with actual data requirements for the town.

Last night, I asked John Savarese, information services director for the town, how much data actually needs to be transferred among Town Hall, the Library and the Board of Education on a daily basis. The answer, "worst case, 1 Gigabyte."

I then asked how much total data actually needs to be backed up the three entities. He did not know the answer, but said the town required "max 7 terabytes."

The actual storage and data transfer requirements of this project are tiny:

• You can now buy a terabyte of external storage for just $99. You could just buy a few drives and replace them every year.

• Transferring a gig of data per day is the equivalent of streaming a third of a 3.5 gigabit Netflix movie, which anyone can do with their cable Internet.

• Alternatively, you could have Amazon S3 cloud storage for 12 terabytes $1,030 per month with redundancy and 99.99999 percent uptime.

You pay nothing for data transferred to the cloud, and $1,290 one time if you need to recover your data. These costs will continue to drop.

Somehow, the cloud alternative is $1.9 million in the project budget and is shown as "cost savings" because you are avoiding them.

This simply cannot be the case. In addition, the BVH report shows $175,000 for a generator to backup the "data center". This expense can be  eliminated with the cloud storage solution.

Why should we spend $2 million when the actual cost is a few thousand dollars?

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