For the first time since the dawn of the internet, the Town of Leesburg is independent of Loudoun County’s network.
County leaders informed the town in 2017 that Leesburg had five years to find a new internet service provider, as Loudoun would discontinue providing that service effective June 2022. Not only had the county been serving as the town’s ISP, but also provided the online security services, town IT Director Kuba Jedrzejczak said. The decision by the county to separate the town from its network may have been driven by the town’s growth, Leesburg Public Information Officer Betsy Arnett said, given that the town government now has 17 different facilities connected in its network.
Since the county delivered the news to the town, both town staff and the Technology and Communications Commission, in an advisory role, have been working to make the transition to their own network.
“It’s been an example of great collaboration,” Jedrzejczak said.
In January, 2019, the Technology & Communications Commission endorsed a new IT Strategic Plan, which was then adopted by the Town Council. At the time, funds were put aside for a study on how to separate from the county’s ISP, and Jedrzejczak joined the town staff a few months later. Not long after that, the town staff realized that much of the work for the transition could be done in house, and the study was scrapped, saving the town more than $200,000. Both Segra and DISYS provided support on the private sector side.
Doing most of the work in house also saved about 18 months in implementation time, Arnett said. Another benefit was an existing contract.
“One of the things that saved us time is we were able to ride an existing state contract with Segra for the internet service provider. The procurement process is really lengthy so that saved us quite a bit of time to be able to find a contract,” Arnett said.
In addition to now operating its own ISP and security services, Leesburg was also switched to a managed services provider model and co-located the town’s equipment to a professional data center. In total, the town spent $188,900 to achieve all three of its goals.