|UPDATE: County and Schools fiber optic construction is in progress. The current schedule may be viewed here (PDF).|
ConnectArlington is the future of digital telecommunication services for the County Government and the Arlington County Public Schools (APS). It is a fiber-optic network that will link County and Schools buildings, ensuring that the government, the schools and the community will benefit as demand for digital services continually increases over the long term.
The County currently relies on a combination of County-owned facilities, lines leased from commercial providers, and a fiber-optic network made available by Comcast under the terms of its cable TV franchise. The County and Comcast are actively engaged in a franchise renewal process, whose outcome will not be known for some time. To ensure continuity and expansion of its essential telecommunication services, the County is building ConnectArlington.
ConnectArlington construction is underway! The County Board approved $8 million for funding of Phase II construction in the May 19, 2012 Board meeting.
ConnectArlington is a long-term investment to address future telecommunications needs and bandwidth requirements. It will result in creation of a broadband fiber-optic network for education, public safety, transportation, and government use. It will also reduce County and APS expenses for commercial telecommunications services. Examples of targeted benefits include:
Many other opportunities are expected to be identified in the future.
During the month of October 2012, several focus group meetings were held to gather information, facilitate discussion and exchange ideas about what ConnectArlington can be and what it could do for the community. The results of these discussion groups were collected, aggregated, analyzed, and documented in a presentation. You may view the presentation here (PDF). The final report of the Broadband Focus Groups may be viewed here (PDF).