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Missoula County Secures Contract With Blackfoot Telecom

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By Martin Kidston/MISSOULA CURRENT

Employees with Missoula County will begin using a simpler email suffix early next month, dropping the old co.missoula.mt.us for the shorter missoulacounty.us.

As the county continues its technological upgrades – which began last year with a new website – it also secured a contract with Blackfoot Telecommunications for a new 100 megabyte internet circuit.

Commissioners approved the contract on Thursday.

“This will give us a lot more control of our content filtering, and our performance will be significantly better,” said Jason Emory, the county’s director of technology. “Things we’re putting out on the web for services, our citizens depend on that more and more every day. So having a secondary connection is a good thing.”

Emory said the new circuit will provide redundant connectivity. The circuit will provide service to county offices from a database at the Missoula County Courthouse.

While a larger circuit was available, Emory said it was more expensive, and the county doesn’t need the capacity at this point in time. Even with video for court services, motor vehicles, the health department and jail, he said, the county rarely hits 100 megs.

“This gives us a quite a bit of room for growth,” he said. “Once we can peel off and not compete with state traffic, we gain back all the consumption they’re doing. It’s a good-sized circuit for an organization like ours.”

The county is also in the process of switching over to its new email suffix. The old suffix will continue to work, though employees are encouraged to use the new suffix once the change is complete.

“I’m hoping by the first of February we’ll make the official switch,” Emory said. “We’ll get people used to using that. There will notifications going out to all departments in the next week.”