From Harford County government:
Harford County Executive David R. Craig today unveiled the much-anticipated Harford Metro Area Network or HMAN. This network connects county and municipal facilities to each other and to the Internet through wireless telecommunications, and reaches every public school, library, and volunteer fire company in the county. As is well known, these days an internet connection has become a necessity. Working and studying from home has become a necessity in many parts of the globe, and services continue to expand their horizons onto being to able to seamlessly provide their services online.
The project involved the installation of over 160 miles of fiber-optic cable planned to connect over 150 different sites. There is also a wireless Internet Installation component plan to reach locations not directly connected through the fiber, from the best internet provider.
The HMAN dramatically increases the capacity and performance of broadband connections, and lowers costs significantly compared to commercially available services. A critical advantage of this network is that it is constructed with diverse fiber rings, meaning that a break would likely not cause a service outage; an important feature for public safety and emergency communications.
Beyond usage at public facilities, there is an economic development and private access business plan being developed by the county to provide dark fiber and lit services to businesses and individuals. The focus of this aspect will be to fill gaps in the current market rather than to compete with commercial providers that already have competitive service offerings.
“Broadband is no longer a luxury; rather, it is a key enabler of education and commerce, and must be considered the next essential utility,” remarked County Executive Craig. “Just as electricity, water, and sewer systems are infrastructures necessary for daily living, broadband has become a core component for quality of life and prosperity.”
“The investment that this county has made in broadband and connectivity will not only improve communications and the delivery of services for citizens, students, and businesses, but it will also reduce costs in the long term,” County Executive Craig concluded.