Idaho company falls short in bid for state high school Wi-Fi contract

An Idaho based company missed out on the bid for a multi-year contract that would provide Idaho high schools with wireless internet.

Tek-Hut, based in Twin Falls, was one of three finalists for the contract. They offered the state $1.6 million per year. The winning bid came from Education Network of America, a national company out of Tennessee. Their offer was for $2.1 million per year.

Tek-Hut already works with Idaho schools, and provides services to 70 of the 115 school districts in the Gem State.

"We have supplied wireless systems to 30 different districts in the state already. All we were really doing was, instead of doing it at the local district level, we were doing it at the state level."

Bondelid said he knew what they were up against when Tek-Hut put its offer in the mix. But even up against ENA, a national company, he felt their offer was strong.

"The best way I can equate it to is that they're two different types of vehicles with the same basic functionality," Bondelid said. "You're talking about Ford versus Chevy. But I believe, out of all of the competitors though that provided solutions, we do business directly with these solutions to more of the schools in the state of Idaho than any other entity."

According to the Idaho Department of Education, all of the contract offers were evaluated by an independent review committee. Unanimously, the panel voted on ENA's bid.

The selection committee rated each offer based on cost, experience, and technology.