FiberNet

About FiberNet

FiberNet is Montgomery County’s flagship fiber-optic communications network. FiberNet is the backbone infrastructure to enable delivery of communications services for all County agencies including:

  • Montgomery County Government (MCG)
  • Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS)
  • Montgomery College (MC)
  • Maryland National Park and Planning Commission (MNCPPC)
  • Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission (WSSC)
  • Housing Opportunities Commission (HOC)

FiberNet has enabled the County to cost-effectively provide voice, data, video and WiFi services to County departments, offices and agencies. FiberNet will enable the County to support further modernization of communications services, including expanded broadband capacity necessary to support increased usage of wireless devices within the workplace and within public spaces, and the transition to IP-based public safety communication services.

In March 2017, FiberNet’s organizational structure and operations were independent reviewed. The resulting FiberNet Organizational Study recommended that FiberNet continue to be operated by the County’s Department of Technology Services, rather than outsourced to non-profit or other entity. The Organizational Study contained several recommendations which are being implemented by DTS. The third FiberNet Master Plan was approved by the FiberNet ITPCC governance body in December 2017 and updated in March 2018. In April 2018, the County released theFiberNet FY2017 Financial Report with FY2018 third quarter updates to improve fiscal transparency and accountability, also released a Key Performance Indicator (KPI) White Paper as part of the effort to create KPIs to strengthen operational evaluation capabilities and strategic planning.

In 2014, the County launched an initiative to create a Network Operations Center (NOC) to provide network monitoring, response and repair services for FiberNet at levels comparable to commercial facilities. The NOC will enable FiberNet to evolve from a “best effort,” to a commercially reliable network that will support optical networking and next generation communication services.

In December 2014, Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett announced Ultra Montgomery as part of his Six-Point Economic Plan. The goal of Ultra Montgomery is to grow knowledge-based jobs and businesses within the County by making gigabit broadband more affordable and widely available to public, private, education and government institutions in major corridors and transit-oriented smart growth communities within the County. Fiber capacity within FiberNet will be made available to commercial and non-profit broadband networks and service providers to facilitate transmission of broadband network traffic within the County and throughout the region.

Fiscal Benefits of FiberNet

FiberNet is valuable and vital asset, as well as extremely cost effective operation. The total annual FiberNet budget for FY2016 is projected to be $3.5 million for operating and an additional $4.2 million for capital expenditures. It was estimated that purchase of a similar level of service from commercial providers would cost approximately $33 million annually. In addition, the planned next generation of public safety communications would require an additional $3 million in annual communication contract costs.

Moreover, in prior years, the County has reduced its annual telephone services bill by $750,000 by using FiberNet for dialtone telephone services and further reduced its communications services bill by an additional $750,000 by using FiberNet instead of frame relay service. In FY2017, the County intends to leverage FiberNet and SIP trunking to further reduce annual expenditures for communications services.