Students and teachers at Woodlawn High gathered Wednesday as Baltimore County officials announced their school would be part of a regional high-speed broadband fiber optic network project meant to increase Internet speeds, improve access to data and save money.
The school is one of 46 in the county that will be part of the project, which will eventually connect 115 sites and allow the installation of wireless technology in schools and other buildings. Officials said the initiative would save the county between $1 million and $1.5 million a year in Internet and phone bills.
They added that within three years, the broadband network would include all the county's public schools, four universities, Maryland Public Television, the Maryland Emergency Management Agency, plus dozens of public safety, health and other facilities.
The $18.6 million project is funded by a $14.4 million grant through the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, also known as the stimulus package. Officials said the county is spending $3.5 million and contributing services valued at $700,000.