Here’s How I Am Working for a Better Montgomery County

High speed internet

As the County Council’s Lead for Digital Government, I have articulated a vision for a digital Montgomery County, proposing and securing passage of policies that will enable our community to lean forward on technology and innovation. Making broadband more affordable, abundant, and accessible is imperative to the economic and social well-being of the County as it will power innovation in education, cybersecurity, life sciences, health care, entertainment, public safety and much more.

This work begins with strengthening the County’s internal fiber-optics network, known as FiberNet. Today, more than 567 sites — schools, libraries, rec centers, and government buildings — operate on that network. This is a remarkable achievement that puts Montgomery County in a leadership class of local governments. However, a lack of vision and years of underinvestment prevented FiberNet from reaching its potential. Given its importance to essential functions in transportation, public safety, education, and much more, I have led the Council’s efforts in restoring needed funding and articulating a progressive vision for FiberNet’s future. The $4 million annual fibernet budget, funded by fees on cable providers like Verizon and Comcast, along with a Network Operations Center, will ensure not only that the County government will get the benefit of a first-class network but also so that the network can offer a market-competitive service for the private sector that can be used to generate revenue in the future.