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Free Lance-Star reporter Robyn Sidersky covers Caroline County government and schools. You can reach her at 540/374-5413 or rsidersky@freelancestar.com. You can follow coverage on Facebook or Twitter as well.

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Technology Committee notes

Contact Information: Mr. Floyd Thomas, Caroline County Board of Supervisor

Please E-mail Mr. Thomas with questions, comments, etc.- fthomas@co.caroline.va.us

Caroline County

Technology Committee Notes:

July 2009

Overview: It is the desire of the County Government to assist in providing high-speed Internet access to as many residents of the County as possible. It is not the desire of the County to compete with existing vendors but to work with them to accomplish our goal.

It is the County’s intention to have a single network backbone that will provide access to County Government offices, Schools, Libraries, Sheriff Substations and Fire/Rescue Squad stations.

It is the County’s belief that access to high-speed internet will provide the following benefits:

  • School System to provide better educational opportunities using remote learning.
  • Access to the resources of the Library will increase.
  • Citizens will be able to interact with County Government easier by accessing forms/applications on the web.
  • Economic Development opportunities will increase.
  • Provide Sheriff’s Deputies and First Responders internet access in the field.

Assets: Currently the County has four large vendors in the County providing Internet access to small areas of the County. Additionally, a new vendor has begun offering wireless access in the Belmont subdivision.

  • Metrocast provides Internet access to the town of Port Royal through its King George system.
  • Comcast provides Internet access to Ladysmith Village.
  • Verizon provides DSL service to the town of Bowling Green and the surrounding area.
  • Virginia Broadband has several wireless locations in the area, Carmel Church, the Community Center and Route 2.

Expansion plans of these vendors are currently being developed but are 12-18 months away at best.

County:

A banded T3 line is currently used at the County Administrators offices. The Visitor Center has a T1 point to point. Public Works and Planning are connected via Fiber. The Community Center (Parks and Rec and Fire and Rescue) are connected via point to point fiber.

Schools:

OC3 lines currently are being installed at the High School and Middle School. Current plans call for expansion to the other schools.

Library:

Currently the Bowling Green branch has access via Bowling Green Electronics (Bealenet). The Ladysmith Branch has access via Bealenet. Both will get T1 in July/August. Dawn has access through Bealenet and DSL from Verizon. Port Royal has access through Metrocast.

Sheriff:

At this point only the main office has internet access

Fire/Rescue:

Only the Community Center has internet access.

Infrastructure:

County Buildings, Schools and Libraries all are possible locations for additional wireless broadcast or connection points.

Rappahannock Electric Co-op has expressed interest in allowing the County to use some of its facilities as possible broadcast/connection points.

Proposed Plan for Expanding Internet Access:

  1. Create a Broadband Authority which would allow us to work with all of the current and future providers.
    1. RFP
    2. PPEA
  2. Complete the School System expansion to Carmel Church and Ladysmith. This will provide a possible connection to the County’s growth area and provide the access the School System requires.
  3. Combine Schools/County/Library access in Bowling Green
  4. Integrate the County Library system into the County network.
  5. Determine how to expand to the less populated areas of the County with wireless.
  6. Connect Sheriff’s substation in Ladysmith to the old Ladysmith School internet access point.
  7. Connect the Ladysmith Library to the Lewis and Clark fiber network.

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