Network growth gives 911 services connectivity boost
EASTON — Talbot County’s 911 ser vices just got a connectivity boost with the expansion of its existing fiber network, meaning more connectivity between first responders and emergency services personnel in the more rural areas of the county.
“Because our region was experiencing inconsistent radio reception and a volume of more than 55,000 first responder calls annually, we required a reliable redundant network,” Talbot County Department of Emergency Services Acting Director Brian LeCates said.
Atlantic Broadband, the nation’s ninth largest cable provider, announced the installation of 16 miles of fiber network between the Talbot County Department of Emergency Ser vices and the county’s enhanced 911 tower on Tuesday, July 25. It was the result of a partnership between Atlantic Broadband, the Maryland Broadband Cooperative, Easton Utilities and Talbot DES.
The goal was to create a direct connection for a faster, more accessible and reliable 911 service for the Talbot County community and cover a 16-mile gap in connectivity in the Bay Hundred area of the county.
The installation was completed in less than a month at the request of Talbot County, as part of its initiative to build out its radio system to ensure better reception, connectivity and a wider coverage area.
“Due to the tower’s remote location, cross-organizational collaboration was critical, and it could not have been completed without the Mar yland Broadband Cooperative and Easton Utilities,” Atlantic Broadband’s Maryland/Delaware Vice President and General Manager Scott Randall said. “We were able to quickly and efficiently solve a problem, and as a result, the county’s emergency services are more accessible to the community.”
According to Easton Utilities, the interconnection is located in Easton Velocity’s headend facility on Bay Street, a master facility for receiving television signals for processing and distribution over the system. Easton Velocity has been providing internet to the county since 2008 and fiber optic connectivity since 2014.
“This collaborative partnership has afforded the ability to connect the fiber and provide a solution to an important service for our community,” Easton Utilities’ Director of Cable and Communication Ted Book said.
Easton Utilities connects multiple fiber optic sites for Talbot DES, according to the company.
Talbot County is part of the Maryland FIRST (First Responders Interoperable Radio System Team), which connects the county’s police, firefighters and emergency medical services, and emergency management personnel to other first responders.
LeCates said being part of Maryland FIRST provides the county with a digital and secure radio system for emergency communications across agencies.
“The installation’s enhanced services are significant for the county and overall community, and it will have lasting benefits,” LeCates said.
Dispatcher Robin Hooper talks to fire and emergency medical personnel while on duty at the newly remodeled Talbot 911 center in March. Talbot County Department of Emergency Services got a connectivity boost recently after the installation of 16 miles of fiber network.