A $680,400 contract with Dell EMC is subject to assembly approval today that would allow the Fairbanks North Star Borough to buy as many as 600 new desktop computers and laptops.

Some of the new computers would be for public use, such as at the libraries and the borough planning department. Most would go to the municipality’s 439 employees — some of whom would receive both a desktop and a laptop.

The average age of borough computers is four years, said Jim Williams, chief of staff.

“Some equipment is so old we can’t do required security patching and upgrades,” he wrote in an email.

The borough uses Windows 7, and Microsoft has announced that it will stop providing security updates for Windows 7 on Jan. 14.

Borough officials want to upgrade to Windows 10, Williams said.

The plan is to phase in the new equipment by purchasing 75 new computers twice annually over four years.

Every borough department would receive new computers, Williams said.

“We also deploy public access computers in the libraries, we have work stations in emergency operations, public access computers at the JHAC (Juanita Helms Administration Center) and other places,” Williams wrote.

The last time the borough did a major computer upgrade was four years ago, when the municipality purchased 400 new computers, Williams said.

The contract with Dell is on the assembly’s consent agenda, which means it is subject to automatic approval without discussion.

Williams expressed concern that the borough would be vulnerable to hackers without the computer upgrade.

A quote from Dell provided to the assembly shows the borough is looking at buying the OptiPlex X SFF at a per-unit price of $1,133.95.

As the new computers are phased in, the old computers will be sold, Williams said.

“We’ll pull the hard drives and surplus the rest. We typically don’t get much for batches of surplus computers,” he said.

Contact staff writer Amanda Bohman at 459-7545. Follow her on Twitter: @FDNMborough.

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