: Classifieds : MyJU :
Stories: Shopping
Browse Shopping Stories: « Previous Story | Next Story »

The Konnect Files: The Untold Story

By: Victoria L. Moore

Date Posted: 1998-03-14

Speculation and finger pointing pose a different point of view, however, very few facts have been stated about the Internet disaster on Okinawa code named "The Konnect Files." The facts are that KDD and Marine MWR entered into a contract, thereby creating MWR Konnect. Within this contract both parties agreed that there would and could not be any subcontractors. KDD Okinawa did in fact subcontract Kadena Internet Connection (KIC) to provide Internet services on their behalf to MWR Konnect, thereby, establishing a subcontracting agreement. This act was in direct violation of their contract with MWR. MWR Konnects' arrangement with KDD-OK clearly establishes KDD as the service provider, not KIC.

The situation that mushroomed into the shut down of Internet services for MWR Konnect, Okinawa Online Network (OON) and KIC began because of KDD's violation, of the contract with MWR.

Marine MWR was unsatisfied with the quality of services provided by KDD, as stated in a letter to the Mr. Seichiro Sekido, Director of KDD Okinawa. The letter signed by Paul Simpkins, Director of Contracting for Marine MWR, documents five separate outages of Internet service that occurred during the Christmas and New Year holidays. It also confirmed that Mr. Ayres, KDD contract representative, gave an inaccurate account of the employees running the Konnect system. An independent audit by Marine MWR's Internal Control Inspector determined that KIC employees were subcontracted by KDD to run MWR Konnect. This in fact was a direct violation of their contract, which states "Attempts by the Concessionaire to subcontract operations or assign to another the conduct of its business will render this contract null and void." The letter goes on to advise KDD to remedy this situation within 60 days from the letter dated 22 Jan 98.

MWR officials remain silent about their part in this episode when queried by Japan Update. Their only comment came from Ben Erickson, MWR Marketing Director, who stated "This situation is currently under investigation."

However, questions that remain unanswered are:

Why KDD was awarded a contract to provide Internet service for Marine MWR, when KDD was not an established Internet provider?

Why the contracting officer failed to thoroughly research KDD to assess qualifications and expertise of employees and equipment prior to awarding the contract?

Why does KDD still have the contract with MWR when the contract specifically states that a subcontracting agreement would render their contract null and void?

According to Kormis, working relations between KDD and KIC became strained due to constant disputes concerning needed system upgrades, software, and financial negotiations for severing the subcontract. "KDD just did not want to spend the money," says Kormis. "Negotiations started at $800,000.00 and went down as low as $170,000.00 before KDD finally said they would not pay."

Kormis also told Japan Update that the system just could not handle the load. KIC requested new system software from KDD over a year and a half ago. This software was essential for running a system that provided service for upwards of 3,600 customers. "Even when the software arrived in late February, KDD did not notify us, so we were unable to upgrade the system," says Kormis.

Kormis said, "KDD insisted that KIC's services were no longer necessary for conducting the MWR Konnect service. Although KIC had a one year extension on its contract with KDD, on Feb. 18 a letter was sent to KIC terminating their contract. On Feb. 27, KIC personnel stopped providing the Internet service to MWR Konnect." According to Kormis, "We did not pull any plug. KDD did not have the corporate knowledge to handle the system and that is why it crashed. Pressure from MWR and Contracting caused KDD to sever ties with KIC and they were unprepared to handle the system."

Kormis told Japan Update Takashi Tachibana, Deputy Director for the Okinawa District Office of KDD, phoned Kormis threatening to terminate services provided to OON and KIC customers if Kormis failed to comply with his demands to bring up the Konnect system within a 30 minute period. By then, Kormis had no contract with KDD and replied, "you do what you have to do and so will I." KDD made good on their threat by bringing down OON and KIC Sasebo's Internet service, says Kormis.

Sekido stated, "KDD had good relations with KIC and purchased all the equipment that KIC needed to run operations for OON and KIC Sasebo." He also explained, "that during financial negotiations, Kormis asked for an unreasonable amount of money," however would not specify on the amount. He also told Japan Update that initially, KDD began the Konnect operation alone. A year ago, KDD asked KIC to maintain the Konnect system. When MWR found out about the subcontractor, KDD had no choice but to sever its relations with KIC. He did not deny that OON and KIC was turned off because of this dispute.

Kormis finally revealed that OON service would be operational by the end of the month or mid April at the latest. "We started this business with one customer and one modem and if we have to build it up again, we are prepared to do just that." Inside sources revealed that MWR Konnect customers would be online by March 10, and that USO Sasebo will have Internet services provided by KDD starting Friday.

Browse Shopping Stories: « Previous Story | Next Story »

weather currency health and beauty restaurants Yellowpages JU Blog

OkistyleJU FacebookOkistyle

Go to advertising PDF?||?|o?L?qAE?|?}?OA?N?ga`OkiStyle?A??q?qM?oeu^?I`??N?gX?<eth>?<ETH>?ni^?IWanted!!Golden Kings ScheduleOkiNightSeeker