The 2,000-member New England group purchasing organization awarded FirstLight as supplier for its members’ network infrastructure services
Albany, NY – January 6, 2021 – FirstLight, a leading provider of fiber-optic data, Internet, data center, cloud, and unified communications services to enterprise and carrier customers throughout the Northeast and mid-Atlantic, announced today that the Massachusetts Higher Education Consortium (MHEC) has awarded FirstLight a contract to serve as a supplier of network infrastructure and management services for its members.
MHEC consists of approximately 2,000 members from some of the most prestigious higher education and municipalities in New England. Its membership also includes libraries, K-12 institutions, and educational organizations. FirstLight is among several top network partners to have been awarded the MC01-F14 Network Infrastructure and Managed Services Contract.
“The F14 contract has expanded the MHEC’s offering in the area of network infrastructure services. This is an important addition to our portfolio of contracts for our members who must rely upon secure, virtual operations and communications, now more than ever. FirstLight brings a proven track record to their offering of a solid network infrastructure to the contract,” said MHEC Executive Director Michael Di Yeso. “They already serve a number of our members in New England and we look forward to seeing that grow.”
MHEC contracts eliminate the need for multiple bids or proposals and leverages the spend of multiple MHEC members to achieve cost-effective pricing. It also reduces the administrative and overhead costs to suppliers and MHEC members. The F14 contract offers savings on products and services to MHEC members over the next three years. The award to FirstLight was based on a comprehensive, publicly bid contract process.
“FirstLight has been serving educational institutions with high quality, fiber-based communications solutions and related services for years, and we understand the unique requirements of the education vertical,” said Kurt Van Wagenen, FirstLight’s President and CEO. “Our products are well suited to meet the needs of today’s learning environment which requires low-latency, high-speed, secure connectivity, particularly given the increased dependency on remote learning. MHEC is the premier source for regionalized New England group purchasing in the United States, and we’re honored to have been selected as a supplier on the F14 contract.”
The Massachusetts Higher Education Consortium (MHEC) is a not-for-profit purchasing consortium established in 1975. The initial membership of the MHEC was comprised of Massachusetts public institutions of higher education as well as a few private colleges known as the Five Colleges, Inc. buying group. These included Amherst College, Smith College, Mount Holyoke College, Hampshire College and the University of Massachusetts Amherst. The goal was to provide and manage contracts for goods and services using group buying best practices for its Massachusetts member institutions. Now, their membership is extended to the broader New England area with members that include public and private colleges and universities, municipalities, the State College Building Authority, The Museum of Fine Arts, WGBH public television, The Massachusetts Trial Courts and Elderhostel.