The Network Services Unit is comprised of three groups and provides a variety of network-related services, including the state’s SilverNet network, virtual private network, telecommunications, microwave, fiber optics, and other wireless technologies.
Network Engineering Group
The Network Engineering Group is responsible for all tasks related to securing, developing, operating, and maintaining statewide data; voice over internet protocol (VOIP); and video-communications infrastructure. The group is also instrumental in delivering cloud-based computing solutions such as Microsoft Teams, SMART 21, and a number of agency applications hosted in the cloud via the high-capacity Wide Area Network. Most of this group’s effort is focused on the Wide Area Network (WAN), known as SilverNet, and maintaining connectivity with the outside world such as internet access for the state and dedicated purpose circuits including federal program connections. Staff tasks include installing and troubleshooting data circuits; installing, operating, and maintaining routers, infrastructure firewalls, event logging, and data switches that tie the circuits together; and engineering, analyzing, and troubleshooting the complex WAN itself. Staff supports over 8,500 network connections representing servers and network devices (routers, firewalls and switches) in more than 150 locations throughout the state. Customers include all executive branch agencies, constitutional offices, the judicial branch, and to a limited extent, the legislative branch.
The Telecommunications Group is responsible for developing, administering, and maintaining telecommunication services, primarily voice transport and telephone equipment. This includes a statewide telephone network that integrates voice over internet protocol switches into the state SilverNet system as well as commercial telephone service. Staff tasks include operation and maintenance of key systems; agency consultation, analysis, and basic design to meet their telecommunication needs; call centers and building wiring design; and development, negotiation, and implementation of contract telecommunication services, long distance service, local exchange service, and vendor services. Specific services provided include state phone lines and voicemail, long distance, 800-type toll-free service, voice system administration, conference calls and private branch exchange network access.
Network Transport Services Group
The Network Transport Services (NTS) Group utilizes microwave, fiber optics, and other wireless technologies to provides transport of communications circuits for federal, state, and local government entities to support public safety communication requirements. NTS also provides transport circuits for data communications and private branch exchange (PBX)/voice over internet protocol (VOIP) services to other groups within the Network Services Unit, such as SilverNet and Telecommunications, thereby indirectly supporting nearly every state agency. Staff tasks include design, development, and year-round twenty-four-hour maintenance of backbone microwave communication infrastructure located at mountaintop communication sites. Staff are directly responsible for microwave circuits and transport equipment at state communication sites that carry public safety traffic. NTS communication sites also host both state and non-state agency communications equipment and antennae on its towers and provides commercial and emergency backup power for their equipment.