The County and Schools are dependent upon the use of fiber based network to interconnect facilities. This network is called the Institutional Network or INET and is used by the County and Schools to access computer services, send email, and make intra-county telephone calls free of charge.
The INET was constructed and is maintained through a Cable Television Franchise Agreement between the County and Comcast, Inc. That agreement comes up for renewal in 2013. Federal and State laws have evolved to the point where it is open to question whether a jurisdiction can compel a franchise to provide such telecommunications services at no charge.
Realizing this and also the growing demand for broadband connectivity by the Government and Schools, it was agreed that a Telecommunications Master Planning (TMP) process would be initiated.
The goal is to create
“a shared government and schools owned fiber network infrastructure that provides for distinct, secure lines of business operations while preserving organizational independence, resiliency/recovery routes and creates broadband capacity to satisfy future connectivity demands.”
A plan has been developed that seeks to leverage any and all opportunities to deploy government owned dark fiber. The costs required to complete the initiative are still under development. But suffice it to say that this effort is like the effort to construct a regional subway system for County and Schools broadband telecommunications needs.
To find out more, click here for a slideshow presentation that details our plans, progress-to-date and timeframe.