Public schools and some of the county buildings are now connected by fiber-optic cables as part of a statewide initiative to connect all of the 1,094 “community anchor institutions.” These include community colleges, 911 centers and public libraries, as well as schools.
The upgrade, effective July 1, provides an increase in bandwidth for internal connections, a centralized firewall and Internet content filtering. Other benefits include connection to the statewide intergovernmental network and greater security than the radio system previously used.
“Radio signals can be intercepted, and even though they may be encrypted and the data is safe, there is software out there that could possibly be used to de-encrypt it,” Karl Hagelin, coordinator of information management for Queen Anne's schools, said in a news release. “With the fiber optic connectivity, they would have to go to the termination site and plug into our network. These sites are in secure locations,” he added.
The network will include the county's department of public works, the 911 center, the board of education, the state's attorney's office and the Liberty Building government headquarters.
Three aggregation sites were necessary to accommodate the county government, emergency services and the school system, according to Hagelin. The sites are in Sudlersville, Safety Drive in Centreville, and Kent Island at Matapeake. They will provide the “backbone core” of the network, he said.
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