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School Board is updated on computer needs

February 04, 2004|by SCOTT BUTKI

William Blum, the Washington County Board of Education's chief operating officer, updated the board Tuesday on the school system's technology needs and the status of a proposed cable franchise agreement that could help pay to meet those needs.

The school system needs to replace its outdated computers and increase network speed for computers, he said. He proposed an upgrade which would include installing fiber-optic lines and purchasing equipment and would cost about $6 million.

Money for the upgrade is not in the proposed budget for fiscal 2004-05.

Blum told the board he favors some of the work being funded by revenue from a franchise agreement between Washington County and Antietam Cable that is under consideration.

The Washington County Public Network, which includes representatives of the Washington County library, the city of Hagerstown and the county schools, supports a cable franchise agreement that would provide high-speed Internet access.

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Antietam Cable's general manager has said the agreement could increase monthly bills by $3 to $5.

The County Commissioners voted 3-2 to seek bids for a consultant to study whether a cable franchise agreement would be a good idea for the county.

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