City of Elk Grove Set to Award $800,000 No-Bid Contract to Frontier Communications

July 22, 2015 | Tonight the Elk Grove City Council is set to award a three-year $800,000 no-bid contract to Frontier Communications f...

July 22, 2015 |

Tonight the Elk Grove City Council is set to award a three-year $800,000 no-bid contract to Frontier Communications for the city's communication needs. The item has been included as part of the council's consent calendar which includes matters considered to be non-controversial.

According to the staff report, the new rates being offered by Frontier include a larger discount than the city currently enjoys. The report states:

"Frontier’s proposed pricing is discounted from their previous contract. The three year term allows the City to take advantage of their best pricing. This contract will cover the City’s Internet connection, analog telephone service, and long distance telephone services. For all these reasons, staff feels that competitive bidding of these services is not in the City’s best interests, and staff recommends that the Council dispense with bidding and authorize a contract with Frontier."

Additionally, the report notes Frontier is the only provider offering landline services in Elk Grove. On a subjective note, it is also noted that Frontier is active in civic events and "are always willing to assist for events such as our annual 'State of the City Address.'"

Frontier, who operates primarily in rural and medium-sized markets is facing several challenges after a series of acquisitions of landline businesses from Verizon and AT&T. Among those were severe service disruptions after the acquisitions, and exclusive of the additional customers acquired via the acquisition, a steadily declining customer base.   

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Anonymous said...

"Frontier is the only provider providing landline services in Elk Grove."

Another sign that Elk Grove is a podunk hick city.

Cities like Folsom and Roseville offer several land line options.

Anonymous said...

"not in the City’s best interests!" How many times have we heard that from city hall? You could sell them a sack of rocks by just saying "there may be a gold nugget in the bottom." That would be in the City's best interest, let's take the gamble. We don't have a great reputation in negotiating contracts..they need to take their Ego off the table.

Thomas A. Anderson said...

Frontier is one of the worst companies I have ever dealt with, even worse than Comcast and they are pretty bad. I disconnected my landline about five years ago and have never looked back.

Why can't the city at least put this out to bid? It may save money by getting a better bid and if nothing else, they could possibility extract even better pricing from Frontier. I suppose staff is to lazy and council members want to keep Frontier around so they can sponsor fireworks, Running of the Elk, Multi Cultural Festival, Fittest of Elk Grove and whatever other pet projects our esteemed council members can conjure up.

Anonymous said...

I'm just glad this city is not in charge of my purchasing a vehicle or getting repairs done, even my grocery shopping. Need an easy extra buck, contract with the City of Elk Grove...all offers accepted!

Anonymous said...

Just now seeing that there is a 3 p.m. meeting today at City Hall. It's a Community Facility District presentation to facilitate the discussion on CFDs. Seems all us taxpayers are being left out of the the discussions due to the time frame and short notice. Typical.....

Anonymous said...

Good heavens. I think some people would complain if they were given a winning lotto ticket.

1) To Anon 7/22/2015 09:42: Landline is a dying service and that is why there are no other providers. They aren't interested in laying down the infrastructure.
2) To Anon 7/22/2015 09:53: Where is the ego in this decision? Sure, blame them for many, many other stupid things but you're really stretching here.
3) Thomas A. Anderson: I think we've ALL had bad experiences with telecom providers. Why can't they put it out to bid? I'd turn that back on you and ask why they should? If the city is satisfied with existing service, they are getting a price reduction AND they maintain a relationship with a strong community partner? Why go anywhere else? Why should they spend YOUR money to go through an RFP process? Is that in OUR best interest? I'd assert, "no." And, to be very clear, Frontier is the ONLY... **ONLY** provider with a community presence. Where do you see Comcast? You don't. Where do you see Consolidated? Nowhere.
To Anon 7/22/2015 10:43: Where's the easy buck here?

Chester L. Karrass said...

Anon 12:26

My guess is you have never worked in the private sector or have never negotiated for the purchase of a large ticket item.

First, city employees who would be involved in putting together an RFP are exempt personnel. This is their job to wisely spend taxpayer dollars and it would not add any labor cost to the taxpayer.

As to you other point, in a word - leverage. The city could use the bidding process to extract a a better price from this or any vendor. Alas, as we have seen with deals like the ones involving Police vehicles with Elk Grove Ford and Downtown Ford, city staff is in large part obtuse when it comes to leveraging in business negotiations.

Anonymous said...

Chester, you are incorrect. I have... both.
First, no, it doesn't add labor cost but it does have a cost... Opportunity cost. What else could they be doing instead of chasing a rabbit down a hole?

...and leverage? C'mon, it's been said above, Frontier is the only landline provider in Elk Grove. There's little leverage here. So, why bother?

It is in the best interest of the City to renew with the existing provider, get a lower price and continue to partner with a company that is committed to the community.

Anonymous said...

As you have said before Mr. Karrass, "In Business As In Life- You Don't Get What You Deserve, You Get What You Negotiate."

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