Forum Thread

Why a one-room West Virginia library runs a $20,000 Cisco router

highfloydelity 7,880 410 February 26, 2013 at 07:46 AM
Why a one-room West Virginia library runs a $20,000 Cisco router []

Yes, this library has a Cisco 3945 router.
Marmet, West Virginia is a town of 1,500 people living in a thin ribbon along the banks of the Kanawha River just below Charleston. The town's public library is only open Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays. It's housed in a small building the size of a trailer, which the state of West Virginia describes as an "extremely small facility with only one Internet connection." Which is why it's such a surprise to learn the Marmet Public Library runs this connection through a $15,000 to $20,000 Cisco 3945 router intended for "mid-size to large deployments," according to Cisco.

In an absolutely scathing report (PDF) [] just released by the state's legislative auditor, West Virginia officials are accused of overspending at least $5 million of federal money on such routers, installed indiscriminately in both large institutions and one-room libraries across the state. The routers were purchased without ever asking the state's libraries, cops, and schools what they needed. And when distributed, the expensive routers were passed out without much apparent care. The small town of Clay received seven of them to serve a total population of 491 people... and all seven routers were installed within only .44 miles of each other at a total cost of more than $100,000.


As for that $5+ million the state could have saved, it would have paid for 104 additional miles of fiber.

I remember hearing about this a while ago and I thought there was a thread here but I didn't find one.

Who bears the lions share of the blame here? Cisco for putting forth a plan that they knew was overkill? The state for not properly reviewing the proposal? The process for not properly allowing other bids?


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Quote from jplayland View Post :
Look at the picture of the library. I would bet they have less than 5 computers and the only special need they would have is to tunnel back to the main library system for the area. A well selected $100 or less router from Staples is totally realistic. Hell, I wouldn't have a problem if they bought two or three to be safe and have a backup.
You've clearly never worked in IT. Who will install the backups? Are you going to hire an IT guy at a 1 room library? Bring in a contractor every time something goes wrong, which will lead to substantial down time? You can't manage a router like this like you manage the one in your house. It's different in a professional environment. I'd bet they have a contract with Cisco to implement, maintain, and service that server, and while I agree that a high end router is not necessary, neither is a consumer level low-end router.
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Quote from shhaggy View Post :
You've clearly never worked in IT.

that is just the thing..... thanks to the abundance of google geniuses out there, they all think they are I.T. experts because they can google, twit and FB. most have never had to work with jumpers, configure mscdex or manually configure irq settings. (they will probably have to google that)

Stick Out Tongue
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Last edited by empiretc March 6, 2013 at 11:01 AM.
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God bless sequestration.
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Not that anybody cares but it wasn't some watchdog group that noticed this spending and took on the big wasteful government. It was the government itself that found this and questioned it.

brb emailing my legislators to have them cut the auditing budget.
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