Tech task force formed

May 02, 2000|By SCOTT BUTKI

A new task force will work to find ways that Washington County can benefit from technological advances.

The 15-member Hagerstown/Washington County Chamber of Commerce Technology Task Force is being headed by co-chairmen Tom Newcomer, who is chamber president, and Robert E. Sweeney, project director for the University System of Maryland education center at Hagerstown.

The task force, which had its first meeting last week, has dual goals of education and planning, said Newcomer, owner of R. Bruce Carson Jewelers on Public Square in Hagerstown.

The education facet involves spreading public awareness about technological changes, including making information from programs elsewhere in the state available in Washington County, he said.


That includes information about fiber optic cable, which provides high-speed Internet access. The state has installed fiber obtic cable across Washington County along Interstate 70, Sweeney said.

The planning involves making recommendations on how businesses and governments can benefit from using the fiber obtic cable as well as from other technological changes, he said.

The March news that Allegheny Communications Connect, an unregulated subsidiary of Hagerstown-based Allegheny Energy, has joined with five other companies to create a new "super-regional" high-speed fiber optics company, could greatly affect Washington County, Sweeney said.

It will provide companies with another way of getting high speed telecommunications access, he said.

Subcommittees of the task force are developing plans for technology-related events and local programs.

One such event is TECHFAST, a series of technology-focused breakfast meetings being held in different parts of Maryland.

The event will be held in Hagerstown on Sept. 14.

The Herald-Mail Articles