Background and Vision
San Mateo County is very diverse – it has both a highly-technical population that just expects to be connected and an underserved population that just needs to be connected. Providing greater electronic access for residents can help bridge the digital divide of high speed Internet access in our county and allow more people to connect to their county government and other vital information and services. Just as government’s responsibility has been to build roads and physical infrastructure, one of the most important things we can do in the 21st Century is to provide the infrastructure for our residents to be connected.
In addition, as more and more County services migrate online and more County business is conducted online, it is critical that County employees and partners have fast and reliable access to electronic services to provide timely and effective services to residents. Creating a modern technical infrastructure will also make the County government more efficient and a better steward of taxpayer dollars.
ISD is upgrading the County-wide network based on a fiber optic cable backbone that should significantly improve the speed and reliability of information exchange and communications with and among County offices and employees. The network project includes upgrading hardware to the latest standards and protocols, building out a new robust data center, building greater redundancy, and improving connections to the Internet.
Additionally, the County of San Mateo Public WiFi program is placing “hot spots” at both County facilities as well as community locations to:
- Support underserved communities;
- Create educational benefits;
- Spur economic development; and
- Improve access to County services.
The target date for the overall county network switchover is June 2015. In addition, the fiber backbone being installed by the county can also be leveraged by other agencies around the county, including cities and school districts, to overall improve services and lower costs for these government entities as well
The SMC Public WiFi program will launch with over seven public WiFi sites by June 2015 as well additional County facilities with Public WiFi access. Please see the SMC Public WiFi Website to get the latest details on site implementation and plans.