Maryland county makes most of cable contract

AUSTIN, TEXAS — Montgomery County, Md., is getting mileage from its cable franchise including programs to help traffic, the fire department and senior citizens.

Jane Lawton, a former elected official who now handles the county's telecommunications development, told a group at the GTC 2000 Southwest conference here that it's very important to consider an area's demographics when negotiating a cable contract. It's also becoming increasingly important to assure that city and county public services have access to the new high-speed fiber-optic cable lines.

Depending on the makeup of the county, it's possible to come away with opportunities to provide everything from education channels to outlets for emergency management to high-speed computer links at libraries.

For instance, Montgomery County uses a channel for traffic management, showing rush hour information and road information during emergencies. The fire department uses a closed-circuit channel for training. And seniors are learning how to tap into online health information through the library.

"There's a need for informed policymakers," Lawton said. "Most are hesitant, thinking they don't have the expertise in the technical areas, but they're very important players at the table."

Featured

  • FCW Perspectives
    zero trust network

    Can government get to zero trust?

    Today's hybrid infrastructures and highly mobile workforces need the protection zero trust security can provide. Too bad there are obstacles at almost every turn.

  • Cybersecurity
    Rep. Jim Langevin (D-R.I.) at the Hack the Capitol conference Sept. 20, 2018

    NDAA process is now loaded with Solarium cyber amendments

    Much of the Cyberspace Solarium Commission's agenda is being pushed into this year's defense authorization process, including its crown jewel idea of a national cyber director.

Stay Connected

FCW INSIDER

Sign up for our newsletter.

I agree to this site's Privacy Policy.