They’re Here! Counties Take Steps to Embrace Small Cells in Maryland

Attendees to the 2019 MACo Summer Conference session, "Maryland’s Small Cell Roll Out: Making 5G a Reality" learned vital information from fellow county and national experts on how to effectively navigate current legal, legislative, and community landscapes/terrain to efficiently pave the path forward for small cells in their jurisdictions. Victor Tervala, Chief Solicitor, Law Department, General Counsel Division for Baltimore City set a basis for the panel by reviewing the federal rules counties must play…

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County Officials and Chief Information Security Officer John Evans Connect at Cybersecurity Forum

  The future of cybersecurity in Maryland is not only a hot topic around the state. It was a hot topic at the MACo Summer Conference! At the "Cybersecurity Forum" attendees were afforded the opportunity to discuss the topic with the new State Chief Information Security Officer, John Evans.    Evans provided brief updates on his new role and vision for cybersecurity in Maryland and spent the majority of the forum answering questions from audience members.…

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Hogan Announces $10 Million to Expand Broadband to Underserved Areas

In today’s world, internet connectivity is no longer a luxury—it is a necessity. Access to affordable internet, broadband, wireless, and cellular services is an essential component of a county’s economic development and the socio-economic advancements of its residents. Residents benefit from increased economic growth, improved labor market access and outcomes, access to better health care, enhanced civic participation, enriched education opportunities, improved quality of life, and overall competitive and vibrant communities. During his closing address…

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Apps that Improve Service, VR that Teaches, and Tech that Saves Lives

A MACo Summer Conference session gives an overview of the ways technology can expedite and enhance government service, and even save lives. Representatives of State agencies, county governments, and libraries shared some of the ways that they are using technology to support and improve government service. Cal Bowman, Deputy Homeland Security Advisor fo the Maryland Governor's Office of Homeland Security shared perspective on technology and government, including challenges that innovators face, and also the fast-moving…

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Protecting Yourself from Cyberattacks at 2019 Summer #MACoCon

Attendees to the 2019 MACo Summer Conference learned how they can protect their county’s valuable data against cyberattacks and ransomware at the “Held Hostage: Protecting Your Data from Cyberattacks” panel on August 14. Center for Internet Security Program Specialist Kyle Bryans stressed that organizations need to treat cyberattacks as a business problem and not exclusively as an information technology problem. Bryans described the threat posed by the info stealer malware program Emotet. Emotet can alter…

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Next-Gen 9-1-1 – Changes Afoot, Maryland Will Be Ready

Part of MACo's "Tech Expo" on Wednesday kicking off the summer conference, a panel of experts on local 9-1-1 centers discussed the move to "next generation" service. Senator Cheryl Kagan, lead sponsor of the implementing legislation passed in 2019 and Chair of the Commission to Advance Next Generation 9-1-1 Across Maryland, led a well-attended conversation on a central public safety service. Technology advances, additional staff training, integratable systems, and other challenges lie ahead as Maryland…

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Feds Award Maryland $1.7M to Modernize 9-1-1

The U.S. Department of Commerce and the U.S. Department of Transportation last week announced more than $109 million in grants to 34 states and two tribal nations as part of the 911 Grant Program, which will help 9-1-1 call centers upgrade to Next Generation 9-1-1 (NG911) capabilities. Maryland will receive $1,707,856 to power basic improvements such as providing digital and IP network capabilities to 9-1-1 emergency call centers and assist implementation of advanced mapping systems…

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California Makes New Push for Next Generation 9-1-1

For the past decade, California’s plan to upgrade its antiquated 9-1-1 system has mostly fallen flat. But Governor Gavin Newsom this week detailed a new, permanent funding source to accelerate the state's transition to Next Generation 9-1-1 (NG911). NG911 will enable the public to make voice, text, or video calls from any communications device via Internet Protocol-based networks. These capabilities can make public safety both more effective and more responsive. “During my first week in office,…

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City Water Billings Back Online, Will Offer Flexibility After Outage

Baltimore City's water billing system is back up - the last element of the city's computer systems to be restored after a massive cyber attack this Spring. Users will receive retroactive billing for multiple months- and the City is offering payment plans and no penalties to help accommodate users facing daunting lumped payments. From coverage on CBS station WJZ's website: Water meters continued to record water consumption, DPW said, but because of the network outage,…

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Looking for State Budget Info? There’s an App for That

Governor Larry Hogan and the heads of the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) and the Department of Information Technology (DoIT) last week announced the launch of the “Maryland Transparency Portal,” a new web-based application geared towards ensuring residents are better informed about the details of the state budget. “Making sure that people can understand the fundamentals of the state’s budgeting system is necessary if we hope to foster the growth of an informed populace,”…

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