ENA scores another big Idaho contract

Wireless work could be extended to 15 years

Education Networks of America has been awarded a five-year contract to build out a high-speed wireless network in Idaho's public high schools.

The five-year contract from the Idaho State Department of Education has two extension options that could grow the deal's total value to more than $33 million over 15 years. Gulch-based ENA's winning bid for the first five years came in at $2.1 million per year. ENA beat out eight other companies' bids and was chosen unanimously by an independent review committee.

ENA is no stranger to Idaho officials. The 17-year-old company is the lead contractor for the Idaho Education Network broadband access project, a job it won in 2009 and one big enough to help the company to open a permanent office in Boise. The company's history in the Gem State actually had some lawmakers questioning the latest award last week while others pointed to the company's contributions to the campaign of Idaho Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Luna.

“It is our goal and our responsibility to ensure every child has equal access to the best educational opportunities, no matter where they live,” Luna said. “To accomplish this, we have to equip every public high school with the advanced technology and tools necessary to create these opportunities.”

ENA officials said nearly 50 school districts already have signed up to take part in the wireless system. Others have until later this week to notify the state of their desire to also install the network.