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Friday, August 5, 2011

Fire/EMS Department to Benefit from Inter-County Broadband Network

Prince George's County Executive Rushern L. Baker, III recently helped break ground for a construction project that will lay broadband fiber across Prince George's County and through the other jurisdictions that make up the Inter-County Broadband Network (ICBN). The fiber will span 103 miles, connecting 117 new sites within Prince George's County to one another and to the network as a whole. County Executive Baker was joined at the groundbreaking ceremony by United States Senator Barbara Mikulski, Governor Martin O'Malley, Howard County Executive Ken Ulman, Prince George's County School Board Chair Verjeana Jacobs, Prince George's County Public Schools Superintendent Dr. William R. Hite, Jr. and Prince George’s County Fire Chief Marc S. Bashoor.

The Inter-County Broadband Network Ground-breaking Ceremony was held on Monday, August 1, 2011 at 9:00am at the Samuel P. Massie Academy located at 3301 Regency Parkway, Forestville, MD.

The ICBN is a collaborative inter-governmental consortium comprised of Annapolis, Anne Arundel County, Baltimore City, Baltimore County, Carroll County, Frederick County, Harford County, Montgomery County and Prince George’s County. ICBN will directly connect 715 anchor institutions in Central Maryland, including hundreds of K-12 public schools, libraries, public safety agencies, community colleges and other government institutions. In addition, in each of these communities – the network will also connect to existing networks with thousands more anchor institutions. Also, the ICBN will make available nearly 800 miles of fiber optic cable for low-cost lease by commercial entities to expand the reach and quality of broadband access throughout the region.

The ICBN is part of the One Maryland Broadband Network (OMBN), a partnership between public and private agencies across the state that includes the Maryland Department of Information Technology (DoIT) and the Prince George's County Office of Information Technology and Communications (OITC). Last September, the One Maryland Broadband Network won $115,240,581 in grant funding through the U.S. Department of Commerce's Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP).

"The (ICBN) represents a phenomenal opportunity for Prince George's County, demonstrating the benefit of partnering with other jurisdictions to expand our capabilities as a region," said Baker. "This day represents a victory for all of us – our schools, public safety facilities, business community, and our region as a whole. I want to thank Senator Mikulski, Governor O'Malley, and Howard County Executive Ulman for their leadership on this project. The ICBN will improve our quality of life, and create jobs in Prince George's County and the State of Maryland."

A majority of Fire/EMS facilities in Prince George’s County will have the benefit of the ICBN and Fire Chief Bashoor is looking forward to the increased capabilities that broadband will afford these facilities, the entire Fire/EMS Department and the County Public Safety Communications Center. “Opportunities afforded by the broadband technology are endless and will assist first responders and incident commanders in providing the very best in Fire/EMS services to the citizens and residents of the County.” stated Bashoor. "Additionally, the ICBN will be an effective magement tool that will enhance our ability to conduct day-to-day business in an effective and cost saving manner."

(R to L) Lt. Col Ben Barksdale, Lt. Col. Jerry LaMoria, Fire Chief Bashoor, OITC Manager Christine Barker and Major Paul Cruz at ICBN Ground-Breaking press conference. (BRADY)

Ground Breaking group for ICBN. (BRADY)

Governor Martin O'Malley and Fire Chief Bashoor at ICBN Groundbreaking. (BRADY)

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